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tion as to Identity of Meat-luice Bottle — Mis- 
direction in Excluding CorroDoration of Prison- 
er's Statement — Misdirections to Jury to Draw 
Illegal Inferences — Misdirections Kegarding the 
Medical Testimony — Conflict of Medical Opinion 
— Misdirections as to Cause of Death— Misdirec- 
tion to Ignore Medical Testimony — Misreception 
of Evidence — Cruel Misstatement by Coroner — 
Medical Evidence for the Prosecution — May- 
brick Died a Natural Death— The Chief Witness 
for the Prosecution — Medical Evidence for De- 
fense — A Toxicolc^ical Study— Medical Weak- 
ness of Prosecution — The Administration of 
Arsenic — The Fly-paper Episode — How Mrs. 
Maybrick Accounts for the Fly-papers — Admin- 
istration of Arsenic not Proved — Intent to Mur- 
der not Proved — Absence of Concealment by 
Prisoner — Some Important Deductions from 
Medical Testimony — Symptoms Due to Poison-, 
ous Druffs — Death from Natural Causes — Prose- 
cution's Deductions from Post-mortem Analysis 
Misleading — Recapitulation of Legal Points, . 262 

Mrs. Maybrick's Own Analysis op the Meat- 
Juice Incident, 366 

Memorials for Respite of Sentence— From the 
Physicians of Liverpool — From the Bars of 
Liverpool and London — From Citizens of Liver- 
pool, 381 

New Evidence.— Arsenic Sold to Maybrick by 
Druggist — Arsenic Supplied to Maybrick by 
Manufacturing Chemist — Depositions as to Mr. 
Maybrick's Arsenic Habit— Justice Stephen's 
Retirement, 384 



Florence Elizabeth Maybrick, . . . Frontispiece 


The Late Dr. Helen Densmore, .... 32 
Lord Charles Russell, 48 

St. George's Hall, Liverpool, 52 

Justice Fitz-James Stephen, 56 

Baroness von Roques, 112 

"""^Aylesbury Prison, 128 

Miss Mary A. Dodge ("Gail Hamilton"), . 144 

Right Hon. A. Akers-Douglas, M.P., . .216 

Hon. James G. Blaine, 248 

Hon. Robert T. Lincoln, 256 

Hon. John Hay, 288 

Hon. Joseph H. Choate, 320 

Samuel V. Hayden, 352 

Leonidas D. Yarrell, 368 


THE writing of this book has been to 
me no joyful task, as its making has 
been at the expense of much-needed rest 
and peace of mind. In returning to my 
dear native land after a long imprisonment, 
I cherished the hope that I might as quiet- 
ly as possible be permitted to take up the 
threads of outward existence so cruelly 
broken, little dreaming that trials hardly 
less grievous than those left behind awaited 
tne ; for no sooner had I touched these hos- 
pitable shores, when I was met by the fear- 
inspiring cry, " You must write a book — 
you must give the world an account of your 
sufiFerings" — as if one could never suffer 
enough. My well-meaning friends could 
hardly have known what they were asking 
in forcing upon me a mental return to the 



dread past. Solitary confinement in Wo- 
king Prison (as the reader may learn from 
these pages) was not such an elysium that 
one should voluntarily desire to hark back 
to it, nor is penal servitude in Aylesbury 
an Arcadian dream. While within their 
grim walls I did my best to exclude 
from thought the world without; and 
now that I am once again in the world 
(though scarcely of it), my one desire to 
shut out all the abhorrent things which 
so-called " prison life " stands for has thus 
far not only failed of realization, but, under 
conditions even more trying than the re- 
pressive prison regime (because of the free 
and happy life all about, which it seemed 
to poor me that I had some right to share), 
I have been compelled by force of circum- 
stance to return to my cast-ofif prison shell, 
and live all the old heart-and-brain-crushing 
life over again. However, my second " trial 
and imprisonment," like the first, is at last 



drawing to a close; and I devoutly trust 
that I shall be now permitted to enter upon 
a long-coveted rest, and partake as I may 
of those tempered joys which my country- 
men by their beautiful sympathy have so 
chivalrously endeavored to make possible 
for me. 

Theoretically my imprisonment termi- 
nated on English soil, but so relentlessly 
have the fates pursued me that I haye been 
in nowise free quite up to the present mo- 
ment. In Rouen, France, where I so- 
journed at my mother's home for three 
weeks, I was as much in durance to my 
genial enemy, the ubiquitous reporter, as 
when the English Government held me in 
its inexorable grasp. Our cottage was 
completely invested by him, and all ap- 
proaches and exits held with a persistency 
which, under other circumstances, might 
well have extorted my admiration. 

Then came the ever-to-be-remembered 



sea voyage. I am a good sailor, and so the 
physical discomforts that beset so many 
were agreeably minimized ; but I could not 
throw oflF the feeling that I was not yet free 
— the limits of the ship were still all too 
suggestive of the narrow exercise grounds 
of Aylesbury prison; and, while the eye 
could roam without hindrance, there came 
upon me again and again an irresistible 
desire^ which the rolling billows strenuous- 
ly gainsaid, to make a dash for liberty. 

Thereupon followed a couple of days at 
the Holland House, New York, with the 
same persistent reporter never absent. 
After this experience, I was taken by the 
kindest of friends to where nature is at 
her loveliest and human hearts beat in 
unison with their uplifting surroundings. 
Beautiful Cragsmoor, with its wide reaches 
of inspiring scenery, most appropriately 
the summer home of an artistic colony, is 
not too easy of access to mar a desire for 



seclusion, and a* greater antithesis to prison 
walls than is afforded by this aerie can 
hardly be imagined. 

Here all things that on lower planes so 
cruelly vex the spirit seem far away and 
beneath. If only no publishers — however 
benevolent — had entered this Eden, what 
a paradise it could have been to me! 
However, in spite of these dread task- 
masters, my soul drank deeply of the elixir 
so bountifully held to my lips ; and when 
in the golden autumn all the noble woods 
about robed themselves in such glory as 
may be seen nowhere outside my beloved 
native land — and perchance nowhere here 
more ravishingly than in these Hudson 
Valley uplands — the rapture of my heart, 
so long starved within the narrowest and 
crudest of confines, turned adoringly to 
Him who has made this world so beautiful 
for His children's eyes. 
I need hardly be at pains to say to my 



readers, that lessons in literary composition 
form no part of the disciplinary curricu- 
lum of Aylesbury; nay, the art of wri- 
ting is distinctly discouraged there, as inter- 
fering with the prescribed parliamentary 
regime. Accordingly, when I set out to tell 
my pitiful little story, I was told to look 
at myself objectively ; then to pry into my- 
self subjectively; then to regard both in 
their relation to the outside world — to de- 
scribe how this, that, or the other affected 
me ; in short, as one of them, more deep 
in science than others, expressed it, " We 
want as much as possible of the psychology 
of your prison life." 

I surreptitiously looked up that awe-in- 
spiring word in a dictionary, and found that 
it refers to the soul, and that it was my soul 
they wanted me to lay bare. I vehemently 
protested that that belonged to my God, 
and I had no right to expose it for daws to 
peck at. But the publishers, with the aid 



of my friends, persuaded me that the pub- 
lic would give me their tenderest regard, 
and that possibly the humanities might be 
furthered a bit if the story of a woman — 
whatever might be her failings in other di- 
rections — wholly guiltless of the terrible 
charge of wilful murder, and for which in 
her innocence she was made to suffer so 
cruelly, be given in fullest heart detail to a 
sympathetic world. So I have done what 
I trust is best for all — spared myself as lit- 
tle as possible, lest the picture fail from 
suppression — and my dearest heart-hope 
is that somewhat of good may come of it, 
especially in behalf of those whom a dire 
fate shall compel to follow in my steps, 
with bruised spirits and bleeding feet. 

Sketch of My Ancestry 

I was bom at Mobile, Ala., September 
3, 1862. In searching for some account of 
my genealogy, I found a published letter of 



Gail Hamilton's, who was ever one of my 
most eloquent and steadfast champions, 
and to whom I owe a debt of gratitude I 
can never adequately express. From this 
it appears that I am the great-great-grand- 
daughter of Rev. Benjamin Thurston, a 
graduate of Harvard College, who settled 
at North Hampton, N. H., and of his wife, 
Sarah Phillips, who was the sister of Joha 
Phillips, who founded Phillips' Academy 
in Exeter, endowed a professorship in 
Dartmouth, and contributed funds to 
Princeton ; and who was the aunt of Sam- 
uel Phillips, who founded Phillips's Acad- 
emy at Andover. 

' The mother of Sarah Phillips was Eliza- 
beth Green, and from her the name of 
Elizabeth has come down in regular de- 
scent to myself. 

Elizabeth, daughter of Benjamin Thur- 
ston and Sarah Phillips, married James 

Milk Ingraham. Joseph H. Ingraham, of 



this family, gave to Portland, Me., for its 
improvement, property now amounting in 
value to millions — beautiful State Street, 
the market, the property of the High 
School, and much more. One of the In- 
grahams was the wife of Philander Chase, 
the first Bishop of Illinois, uncle of Sal- 
mon P. Chase, who was Secretary of the 
Treasury under Lincoln and Chief Justice 
of the Supreme Court of the United 
States. Of the Ingraham family was that 
Commodore Ingraham who won laurels 
for his country and himself by rescuing 
Martin Koszatafrom the clutch of Austria. 
Connected with the Ingrahams was that 
Edward Preble, bom at Falmouth Neck,, 
whose father served under Wolfe and was 
wounded at Quebec; also that Comman- 
der Preble whose achievement before 
Tripoli was rewarded with a gold medal 
and the thanks of Congress. Rev. John 
Phillips and Thurston Ingraham, author 

2 17 


of " Why We Believe the Bible," both rec- 
tors in the Protestant Episcopal Church, 
were sons of James Milk Ingraham and 
Elizabeth Thurston Ingraham. John In- 
graham, son of the preceding, is rector of 
Grace Church, St. Louis, Mo. His sister, 
Elizabeth Thurston Ingraham, married 
Darius Blake Holbrook, who was born in 
Dorchester, Mass. His mother was a 
Ridgeway. Her sister married a Quincy, 
and was aunt to John Quincy Adams. 
Mr. Holbrook was an originator of the 
land grant for the Illinois Central Railroad 
and its first president. He owned Cairo, 
at the mouth of the Ohio, and was associ- 
ated with Cyrus Field in laying the first 
Atlantic cable. Caroline Elizabeth was 
the only child of Darius Blake Holbrook 
and Elizabeth Thurston Holbrook. She 
married William G. Chandler, of the bank- 
ing house of St. John Powers & Co., Mo- 
bile, Ala. William G. Chandler's father 



was Daniel Chandler, a lawyer of high 
standing in Georgia ; his mother was Sa- 
rah Campbell, a sister of John A. Camp- 
bell, at one time Assistant Secretary of 
State for the Confederacy, and previously 
judge of the Supreme Court of the United 
States. Judge L. Q. C. Lamar, long a 
United States Senator, and afterward a 
justice of the Supreme Court, was near of 

To William G. Chandler and Caroline 
Elizabeth Holbrook Chandler two chil- 
dren were born — Holbrook St. John and 
Florence Elizabeth. Their father died in 
1863, and their mother, on account of the 
war, took the children abroad to be edu- 
cated. The son died while pursuing his 
medical studies. 


As will be seen from the above sum- 
mary of Gail Hamilton's statement, I am 
descended, on both my paternal and my 
maternal side for generations, from good 



American stock. I was educated partly 
in Europe and partly in America, under 
the instruction of masters and governesses. 
I was too delicate for college life. I lived 
partly with my maternal grandmother, 
Elizabeth Holbrook, of New York, and 
partly with my mother, the Baroness von 
Roques, whose home was abroad. When 
not with them I was visiting or traveling 
with friends. My life was much the same 
as that of any other girl who enjoyed the 
pleasures of youth with a happy heart. I 
was very fond of tracing intricate designs 
and copying the old-time churches and ca- 
thedrals. My special pastime, however, 
was riding, and this I could indulge in to 
my heart's content when residing with my 
stepfather. Baron Adolph von Roques, 
who, now retired, was at that time a caval- 
ry officer in the Eighth Cuirassier Regi- 
ment of the German army and stationed at 




At the age of eighteen I married James 
Maybrick, on the 27th of July, 1881, at St. 
James Church, Piccadilly, London, and re- 
turned to America, where we made our 
home at Norfolk, Va. For business rea- 
sons we settled in a suburb of Liverpool 
called Aigworth. A son was born to us on 
the 24th of March, 1882, and a daughter 
on June 20, 1886. 

Florence Elizabeth Maybrick. 


Before the Trial 

My Arrest 

SLOWLY consciousness returned. I 
opened my eyes. The room was in 
darkness. All was still. Suddenly the 
silence was broken by the bang of a 
closing door which startled me out of 
my stupor. Where was I? Why was I 
alone ? What awful thing had happened ? 
A flash of memory! My husband was 
dead! I drifted once more away from 
the things of sense. Then a voice, as if a 
long way off, spoke. A feeling of pain and 
distress shot through my body. I opened 
my eyes in terror. Edwin Maybrick was 
bending over me as I lay upon my bed. 
He had my arms tightly gripped, and was 



shaking me violently. " I want your keys 
— do you hear? Where are your keys?" 
he exclaimed harshly. I tried to form a 
reply, but the words choked me, and once 
more I passed into unconsciousness. 

It is the dawn of a Sabbath day.* I am 
still lying in my clothes, neglected and un- 
cared for ; without food since the morning 
of the day before. Consciousness came 
and went. During one of these interludes 
Michael Maybrick entered. 

" Nurse," he said, " I am going up to 
London. Mrs. Maybrick is no longer mis- 
tress of this house. As one of the execu- 
tors I forbid you to allow her to leave this 
room. I hold you responsible in my ab- 

He then left the room. What did he 
mean? How dare he humble me thus in 
the presence of a stranger? 

Toward the night of the same day I said 
to the nurse, " I wish to see my children." 
She took no notice. My voice was weak, 

♦May 12, 1889. 



and I thought perhaps she had not heard. 
"Nurse," I repeated, "I want to see my 
children." She walked up to my bed, and 
in a cold, deliberate voice replied : " You 
can not see Master James and Miss 
Gladys. Mr. Michael Maybrick gave or- 
ders that they were to leave the house 
without seeing you." I fell back upon my 
pillow, dazed and stricken, weak, helpless, 
and impotent. Why was I treated thus? 
My brain reeled in seeking a reply to this 
query. At last I could bear it no longer, 
and my soul cried out to God to let me 
die. A third dreary night, and the day 
broke once again. I was still prostrate. 
The dull pain at my heart, the yearning for 
my little children, was becoming unbear- 
able, but I was dumb. 

Suddenly the door opened and Dr. 
Humphreys entered. He walked silently 
to my bedside, felt my pulse, and without a 
word left the room. A few minutes later I 
heard the tramp of many feet coming up- 
stairs. They stopped at the door. The 



nurse advanced, and a crowd of men 
entered. One of them stepped to the 
foot of the bed and addressed me as fol- 

" Mrs. Maybrick, I am superintendent of 
the police, and I am about to say some- 
thing to you. After I have said what I in- 
tend to say, if you reply be careful how 
you reply, because whatever you say may 
be used as evidence against you. Mrs. 
Maybrick, you are in custody on suspicion 
of causing the death of your late husband, 
James Maybrick, on the eleventh instant." 
I made no reply, and the crowd passed out. 

A Prisoner in My Own House 

Was I going mad? Did I hear myself 
accused of poisoning my husband ? Why 
did not his brothers, who said they had his 
confidence, tell the police what all his in- 
timate friends knew, that he was an arsenic 
eater? Why was I accused — I, who had 
nursed him assiduously day and night until 



my strength gave out, who had engaged 
trained nurses, and advised a consultation 
of physicians, and had done all that lay in 
my power to aid in his recovery? To 
whom could I appeal in my extreme dis- 
tress ? I lay ill and confined to my bed, 
with two professional nurses attending me, 
and with a policeman stationed in my 
room, although there was not and could 
not be the slightest chance of my escaping. 
The officer would not permit the door to 
be closed day or night, and I was denied in 
my own house, even before the inquest, the 
privacy accorded to a convicted prisoner. 
I asked that a cablegram be sent to my 
lawyers in New York. Inspector Baxen- 
dale read it, and then said he did not con- 
sider it of importance and should not send 
it. I then implored Dr. Humphreys to ask 
a friendly lawyer, Mr. R. S. Cleaver, of 
Liverpool, to come out to see me. After 
some delay Mr. Cleaver obtained a permit 
to enter the house and undertook to repre- 
sent me. 



The fourth day came and went. On the 
fifth day, May i6, the stillness of the house 
was broken by the sound of hushed voices 
and hurrying footsteps. "Nurse," I ex- 
claimed, when I could no longer bear the 
feeling of oppression that possessed me, 
"is anything the matter?" She turned, 
and in a cold, harsh voice replied, " The 
funeral starts in an hour." "Whose fu- 
neral?" I asked. " Your husband's," the 
nurse exclaimed; *^but for you he would 
have been buried on Tuesday." I stared 
at her for a moment, and then, trembling 
from head to foot, got out of bed and com- 
menced with weak hands to dress myself. 
The nurse looked alarmed, and came for- 
ward. " Stand back 1 " I cried. " I will see 
my husband before he is taken away." 
She placed herself in front of me ; I pushed 
her aside and confronted the policeman 
at the door. " I demand to see my hus- 
band," I exclaimed. "The law does not 
permit a person to be treated as guilty 
until she is proven so." 



He hesitated, and then said, "Follow 
me." With tottering steps, supported by 
the nurse, I was led into the adjoining 
room. Upon the bed stood the coffin, 
covered with white flowers. It was already 
closed. I turned to the policeman and the 
nurse. " Leave me alone with the dead." 
They refused. I then knelt down at the 
bedside, and God in His mercy spared my 
reason by granting me, there and then, the 
first tears which many days of suffering 
had failed to bring. Death had wiped out 
the memory of many things. I was thank- 
ful to remember that I had stopped divorce 
proceedings, and that we had become rec- 
onciled for the children's sake. Calmed, 
I arose and returned to my room. I sat 
down near a window, still weeping. Sud- 
denly the harsh voice of a nurse broke on 
my ears : " If you wish to see the last of the 
husband you have poisoned you had better 
stand up. The funeral has started." I 
stumbled to my feet and clutched at the 
window-sill, where I stood rigid and tear- 



less until the hearse had passed, and was 
out of sight, and then I fainted. 

When I recovered consciousness I asked 
why my mother had not been sent for. 
No answer was made, but a tardy sum- 
mons was sent to her at Paris. When 
she arrived she came to me at once. 
What a meeting 1 She kissed me, and was 
speaking a few loving words in French, 
when the nurse interposed and said, " You 
must speak in English," and the policeman 
joined in with " I warn you, madam, that 
I will write down all you say," and he pro- 
duced paper and pencil. I then begged 
my mother to go into Liverpool to see the 
Messrs. Cleaver, who represented me, as 
they would give her all the information she 
required ; and then I cried out in the bit- 
terness of my heart, " Mother, they all be- 
lieve me guilty, but I swear to you I am 
innocent." That night I had a violent at- 
tack of hysteria. Two nurses and the po- 
liceman held me down, and when my 
mother, outraged by his presence, wished 



to take his place and send him from the 
room, Nurse Wilson became insolent and 
turned her out. 

At Walton Jail 

The next morning, Saturday, the i8th of 
May, Dr. Hopper and Dr. Humphreys 
visited me, to ascertain whether I was in a 
condition to permit of formal proceedings 
taking place in my bedroom. In a few 
minutes they gave their consent. The 
magistrates and others then came up-stairs. 

There were present Colonel Bid well, 
Mr. Swift (clerk), Superintendent Bryning, 
and my lawyers, the Messrs. Cleaver, Dr. 
Hopper, and Dr. Humphreys. I was fully 
conscious, but too prostrate to make any 
movement. Besides those in the room, 
there were seated outside the policeman 
and the nurse. Superintendent Bryning, 
who had taken up his position at the foot 
of the bed, said: "This person is Mrs. 
Maybrick, charged with causing the death 



of the late James Maybrick. She is 
charged with causing his death by admin- 
istering poison to him. I understand that 
her consent is given to a remand, and 
therefore I need not introduce nor give 

Mr. Swift : " You ask for a remand for 
eight days?" 

Mr. Arnold Cleaver: " I appear for the 

Colonel Bidwell : " Very well ; I consent 
to a remand. That is all." 

These gentlemen then departed. The 
police were in such a hurry to prefer the 
formal charge, they could not; wait until the 
doctors should certify that I was in a fit 
state to be taken to the court in the ordi- 
nary way. The nurse then told me I must 
get up and dress. I prayed that my chil- 
dren might be sent for to bid me good-by — 
but I was peremptorily refused. I begged 
to gather together some necessary per- 
sonal apparel, only to meet with another 
refusal. I was hurried away with such un- 





seemly haste, that even my hand-bag with 
my toilet articles was left behind. My 
mother implored to be allowed to say good- 
by, but was denied. She had gone up to 
her bedroom, so she tells me, which looked 
out on the front, to try and see my face as 
they put me in the carriage, when they 
turned the key and locked her in. After 
I had gone a policeman unlocked the door. 
After a two hours' drive we arrived at 
Walton Jail, in the suburbs of Liverpool. 
I shuddered as I looked at the tall, gloomy 
building. A bell was ringing, and the big 
iron gates swung back and allowed us to 
pass in. I was received by the governor 
and immediately led away by a female 
warder. We crossed a small courtyard and 
stopped at a door which she unlocked and 
relocked. Then we passed down a narrow 
passage to a door that led into a dark, 
gloomy room termed the " Reception." A 
bench ran along each side, a bare wooden 
table stood in the middle, a weighing-ma- 
chine by the door, with a foot measure be- 
3 33 


side it. A female warder asked me to 
give up any valuables in my possession. 
These consisted of a watch, two diamond 
rings, and a brooch. They were entered 
in a book. Then I was asked to stand 
upon the weighing-machine, and my weight 
was duly noted. These formalities com- 
pleted, I was led through a building into a 
cell especially set apart for sick prisoners. 
The escort locked me in, and, utterly ex- 
hausted, stricken with a sense of horror and 
degradation, I sank upon the stone floor, 
reiterating, until consciousness left me, 
" Oh, my God, help me — ^help me ! " 


When I opened my eyes I was in bed 
and alone. I gazed around. At the bed- 
side was a chair with a china cup contain- 
ing milk, and a plate of bread upon it. 
The cell was bare. The light struggled 
in dimly through a dirty, barred window. 
The stillness was appalling, and I felt be- 



numbed — a sense of terrible oppression 
weighed me down. If only I could hear 
once more the sound of a friendly voice ! 
If only some one would tell whose diabol- 
ical mind had conceived and directed sus- 
picion against me ! 

I remained in the cell three days, when 
my lawyer visited me. He arranged that I 
was to have a room especially set apart for 
prisoners awaiting trial who can afford to 
pay five shillings (^1.25) weekly, for the 
additional comfort of a table, an arm-chair, 
and a wash-stand. Had I not been able to 
do so I should have been consigned to an 
ordinary prison cell, and my diet would 
have been the same as that of convicted 
prisoners. Instead, my food was sent from 
a hotel outside. I was locked in this room 
for twenty-two hours out of the twenty-four. 
The only time I was permitted to leave it 
was for chapel in the morning and an hour's 
exercise in the afternoon in the prison 
yard. The stillness, unbroken by any 
sound from the outside world, got on my 



nerves, and I wanted to scream, if only to 
hear my own voice. The unnatural con- 
finement, without any one to speak to, was 
torture. The governor, the doctor, and 
the chaplain, it is true, came around every 
morning, but their visits were of such short 
duration, and so formal in their nature, 
that it was impossible to derive much re- 
lief from conversation with them. 

The Coroner's Inquest 

On the 28th of May the Coroner's inquest 
was held, but I was not well enough to at- 
tend. I was represented by my legal ad- 
visers. On the 3d of June I was still too 
ill to appear before the court. Mr. W. S. 
Barrett, as magistrate, accompanied by Mr. 
Swift, the clerk, held a Magisterial Court at 
Walton Jail. Mr. R. S. Cleaver did not 
attend, having consented to the police ob- 
taining another remand for a week. Only 
one newspaper reporter was allowed to be 
present. I was accompanied to the visit- 



tors' room by a female warder, and silently 
took a seat at the foot of a long table. 
I was quite composed. Superintendent 
Bryning rose from his seat at the end of 
the room and said : 

" This person, sir, is Mrs. Maybrick, who 
is charged with the murder of her husband, 
at Aigburth, on the nth of last month. 
I have to ask that you remand her until 
Wednesday next." 

Mr. Swift: ''Mr. Cleaver, her solicitor, 
has sent me a note in which he consents to 
a remand until Wednesday.'* 

Mr. Barrett : " If there is no objection 
she will be remanded until Wednesday 

A Plank for a Bed 

The magistrate then signed the docu- 
ment authorizing the remand, and I with- 
drew. On the 5th of June the adjourned 
inquest was held, and I was taken from jail 
at half-past eight in the morning to the 



Coroner's Court in a cab, accompanied by 
Dr. O'Hagan, a female attendant, and a 
policeman. I was taken into the ante-room 
for the purpose of being identified by the 
witnesses for the prosecution. I was not 
taken into court, but at three o'clock Mr. 
Holbrook Gaskell, a magistrate, attended 
for the purpose of granting another re- 
mand, pending the result of the inquest, 
and again no evidence was given in my 
presence. I was taken to the county police 
station. Lark Lane. I passed the night in 
a cell which contained only a plank board 
as a bed. It was dark, damp, dirty^ and 
horrible. A policeman, taking pity on me, 
brought me a blanket to lie on. In the ad- 
joining cell, in a state of intoxication, two 
men were raving and cursing throughout 
the night. I had no light — there was no 
one to speak to. I was kept there three 
days, until the coroner's jury had returned 
their verdict. A greengrocer near by, 
named Mrs. Pretty, to whom I had occa- 
sionally given orders for fruit, sent me in a 



daily gift of her best with a note of sympa- 
thy-a deed all the more striking in its 
generosity and nobleness, since the charity 
of none other of my own sex had reached 
to that degree of justice to regard me as in- 
nocent until proven guilty. 

The Verdict of the Coroner's Jury 

On the 6th of June I was again driven 
to Garston to hear the coroner's verdict. 
There was an elaborate array of lawyers, 
reporters, and witnesses, as well as many 

I waited in the ante-room until the coro- 
ner's jury had summed up. The jury con- 
sisted mostly of gentlemen who at one time 
had been guests in my own house. Of all 
former friends present, there was only one 
who had the moral courage to approach 
me and shake my hand. Throughout the 
time I sat awaiting the call to appear before 
the coroner he remained beside me, speak- 
ing words of encouragement. But the 



others, who, without a word of evidence in 
my defense, had already judged and con- 
demned me, passed by on the other side, 
for had they not already judged and con- 
demned me? 

When my name was called a dead 
hush pervaded the court, and the coroner 

" Have you agreed upon your verdict, 
gentlemen ? " 

The Foreman : " We have." 

Q. "Do you find that death resulted 
from the administration of an irritant poi- 

A. " Unanimously." 

Q. " Do you say by whom that poison 
was administered ? " 

A. "By twelve to one we decide that the 
poison was administered by Mrs. May- 

Q. " Do you find that the poison was ad- 
ministered with the intent of taking life ? " 

A. "Twelve of us have come to that 



The Coroner : " That amounts to a ver- 
dict of murder." 

Then the requisition was made out in 
the following terms : 

"That James Maybrick, on the nth of 
May, 1889, 1^^ the township of Garston, died 
frorn the effects oi an irritant poison ad- 
ministered to him by Florence Elizabeth 
Maybrick, and so the jurors say: that the 
said Florence Elizabeth Maybrick did wil- 
fully, feloniously, and of malice afore- 
thought kill and murder the said James 

I was then driven back to the Lark Lane 
Police Station, locked up, and remained 
the night. The next day I was returned to 
Walton Jail. How shall I describe my feel- 
ings ? Mere words are utterly inadequate 
to do so. Not only was my sense of justice 
and fair play outraged, but it seemed to me 
a frightful danger to personal safety if the 
police, on the mere gossip of servants, and 
where a doctor had been unable to as- 
sign the cause of death, could go into a 



home and take an inmate into custody in 
the way I have shown. 

On the 13th of June I was brought be- 
fore the magistrates, and for the first time 
evidence was given in my presence. I had 
been driven over to the court-house the 
evening before, and had passed the night 
there in charge of a policeman's daughter, 
who remained in the room with me. Her 
father kept watch on the other side of the 
door. That night, on going to bed, as I 
knelt weary and lonely to say my prayers, 
I felt a hand on my shoulder and a tearful 
voice said, softly^ " Let me hold your hand, 
Mrs. Maybrick, and let me say my prayers 
with you." A simple expression of sjmipa- 
thy, but it meant so much to me at such a 

The Doctors Disagree 

At half-past eight I was taken to a room 
adjoining the court, where, in charge of a 
female warder and a policeman, I awaited 
my call. I then passed into the court, where 



two magistrates, Sir William B. Forwood 
and Mr. W. S. Barrett, sat officially to hear 
the evidence. When the testimony had 
been given the court adjourned. 

When I rose to leave the court, in order 
to reach the door, I had to meet face to face 
well-dressed women spectators at the back, 
and the moment I turned around these 
started hissing me. The presiding justice 
immediately shouted to the officer on duty 
to shut the door, while the burly figures of 
several policemen, who moved toward the 
hostile spectators, effectually put an end to 
the outburst. It was amid such scenes, and 
this sort of preparation for my ordeal, that 
on the following day, the 14th of June, the 
Magisterial Inquiry was resumed, and the 
evidence connected with the charge of 
murder gone into. On conclusion of the 
testimony the magistrates retired, and after 
a brief consultation returned into court. 

Sir William Forwood : " Our opinion is 
that this is a case which ought to be de- 
cided by jury.'' 



Mr. Pickford (my counsel) : " If that is 
clearly the opinion of the Bench I shall not 
occupy their time by going into the defense 
now, because I understand, whatever de- 
fense may be put forward, the Bench may 
think it right for a jury to decide." 

The Chairman: " Yes, we think so." 

I was then ordered to stand up and was 
fonnally charged in the usual manner. 

I replied : " I reserve my defense." 

Sir William Forwood made answer: 
" Florence Elizabeth Maybrick, it is our 
duty to commit you to take your trial at 
the ensuing Assizes for wilful murder of 
the late James Maybrick." 

I was then remanded into custody. 

I found it difficult to understand why 
these magistrates committed me to trial for 
murder on that evidence. There was cer- 
tainly not sufficient evidence that the cause 
of death was arsenic. The doctors could 
not say so. No arsenic had been found by 
the analyst in the stomach, the appearance 
of which at the post-mortem^ Dr. Hum- 



phreys said, was "consistent" with either 
poisoning or ordinary congestion of the 
stomach ; but, after examination, a minute 
quantity of arsenic, certainly not enough to 
cause death, was detected in the liver, the 
appearance of which. Dr. Humphreys said, 
showed no evidence of any irritant poison. 
On this point Dr. Carter agreed with Dr. 
Humphreys, "but in a more positive man- 
ner," while Dr. Barron did not exactly 
agree with Dr. Carter. 

The analyst had found both arsenic and 
"traces" of arsenic, in some bottles and 
things which had been found in the house 
after death, as to which, where they came 
from, or who had put them there, no one had 
any knowledge. This is the evidence upon 
which I was committed. Justice Stephen, 
in addressing the grand jury, even thus early 
showed a predisposition against me, due at 
this time, no doubt, to the sensational re- 
ports in the press. A true bill was found, 
and I was brought to trial before him on 
the 31st of July. 



Letters from Walton Jail 

The six • weeks intervening before my 
trial were very terrible. The mental strain 
was incessant, and I suffered much from in- 
somnia. The stress and confinement were 
telling on my health, as was the separation 
from my children. I insert here two ex- 
tracts from letters, written by me, from Wal- 
ton Jail. One is to my mother, dated the 
2 ist of July, 1889, a few days before my trial : 

" I am not feeling very well. This fear- 
ful strain and the necessity for continued 
self-control is beginning to tell upon me. 
But I am not in the least afraid. I shall 
show composure, dignity and fortitude to 
the last." 

The following is an extract from a letter 
I wrote to a friend on June 27, before my 
trial on July 31: 

" I have made my peace with God. I 
have forgiven unreservedly all those who 
have ruined and forsaken me. To-morrow 
I partake of the Holy Communion with a 



clear conscience, and I place my faith in 
God's mercy. 

" God give me strength is my constant 
prayer. I feel so lonely — as if every hand 
were against me. To think that for three 
or four days I must be unveiled before 
all those uncharitable eyes. You can not 
think how awful it appears to me. So far 
the ordeal has been all anticipation ; then it 
will be stern reality — which always braces 
the nerves and courage. 

" I have seen in the Liverpool Post the 
judge's address on the prosecution to the 
jury, and it is enough to appal the stoutest 
heart. I hear the police are untiring and 
getting up the case against me regardless of 

" Pray for me, my friend, for the darkest 
days of my life are now to be lived through. 
I trust in God's justice, whatever I may be 
in the sight of man." 

Lord Russell's Opinion 

I received many visits from my lawyers, 
the Messrs. Cleaver, and just before the 
trial one from my leading counsel, Sir 



Charles Russell, later Lord Russell of 
Killowen, Lord Chief Justice of England. 
The following statement made by him rela- 
tive to this visit may interest my readers : 

" I will make no public statement of what 
my personal belief is as to Mrs. Maybrick's 
guilt or innocence, but I will tell you, who 
have stood by her all these years, that, per- 
plexed with the instructions in the brief, I 
took what was an unusual step : I went to 
see her in prison before her trial, and ques- 
tioned her there to the best of my ability 
for the purpose of getting the truth out of 
her. During the whole seven days of her 
trial I made careful observation of her de- 
meanor, and since her imprisonment I have 
availed myself of my judicial right to visit 
her at Aylesbury Prison ; and, making the 
best use of such opportunities of arriving 
at a just conclusion about her own self-con- 
sciousness, I decided in my own mind that 
it never for a moment entered her mind to 
do any bodily injury to her husband. On 
the last occasion that I saw her I told her 
so, as I felt it would and did give the poor 
woman some comfort." 


Late Lord Chief Justice of EnRland, Mrs. Msyhrick"! 


The Public Condemns Me Unheard 

The day preceding my trial found me 
calm in spirit, and in a measure prepared 
for the awful ordeal before me. Up to 
that time I had shown a composure that 
astonished every one. Indeed, some went 
so far as to say I was without feeling. 
Perhaps I was toward their kind. I would 
have responded to sympathy, but never to 
distrust. At that time I was suspected by 
all — or, rather, people were not sufficiently 
just to content themselves with suspicions; 
they condemned me outright, and, unheard, 
struck at a weak, defenseless woman ; and 
this upon what is now generally admitted 
to have been insufficient evidence to sus- 
tain the indictment. 



The Trial 

The Injustice of Trying the Case at 


MY trial was set for the 31st of July 
in St. George's Hall, Liverpool. 
Immediately after nine o'clock on that day, 
the part of the building which is open to 
the general public was filled by a well- 
dressed audience, including many of my 
one-time friends. During all the days of 
my trial, I am told, Liverpool society 
fought for tickets. Ladies were attire'd as 
for a matinee, and some brought their lunch- 
eons that they might retain their seats. 
Many of them carried opera-glasses, which 
they did not hesitate to level at me. The 
Earl of Sef ton occupied a seat on the bench 
with the judge, and among the audience 
were many public and city men and judicial 



officers. The press had for two months sup- 
plied nourishment in the form of the most 
sensational stories about me, to feed the 
morbid appetite of the public. The excite- 
ment ran so high that the Liverpool crowds 
even hissed me as I was driven through 
the streets. It was a mockery of justice to 
hold such a trial in such a place as Liver- 
pool, at such a time, by a common jury; 
and it was a mockery of common sense to 
expect that any Liverpool common jury 
could, when they got into the jury-box, dis- 
miss from their minds all they had heard 
and seen. In a letter which I wrote to my 
mother, when in Walton Jail, on the 28th 
of June, about a month before the trial, I 
said: "I sincerely hope Messrs. Cleaver 
will arrange for my trial to take place in 
London. I shall receive an impartial ver- 
dict there, which I can not expect from a 
jury in Liverpool, whose minds will virtu- 
ally be made up before any evidence is 
heard." Owing, however, to a lack of 
funds this hope was not realized. 



I was at this time alone, utterly forsaken, 
and the only persons to whom I could look 
for protection and advice were my lawyers, 
Messrs. Cleaver. 

At half-past eight on the morning of 
my trial, a black van was driven up to the 
side door, in the fore part of which were 
already confined the male prisoners await- 
ing trial. I was placed in the rear, a female 
warder stepped in, the door was shut, and 
I felt as if I were already buried. A crowd 
witnessed my departure from Walton Jail, 
and a larger one was assembled outside St. 
George's Hall. But I was conducted into 
the building without attracting attention. 

At ten o'clock I heard a blast of trum- 
pets that heralded the judge's entrance into 
court. Shortly after my name was called, 
and, accompanied by a male and a female 
warder, I ascended slowly the stone stair- 
case from the cells leading to the dock. I 
was calm and collected in manner, although 
aware of the gravity of my position. But 
the consciousness of innocence, and a strong 

52 • 

3 I 


faith in Divine support, made me confident 
that strength would be given to endure the 
awful ordeal before me. 

In reply to the Clerk of Arraigns, who 
read the charge against me of " feloniously 
and wilfully murdering my husband, James 
Maybrick," I answered " Not guilty/' It is 
customary in criminal courts in England 
to compel a prisoner to stand in the dock 
during the whole trial, but I was provided 
with a seat by recommendation of the pris- 
on doctor, as I suffered from attacks of 
faintness, though against this humane de- 
parture a great public outcry was raised. 

The counsel engaged in the case were 
Mr. Addison, Q.C., M.P. (now judge at the 
Southwark County Court), Mr. McConnell, 
and Mr. Swift, for the prosecution; Sir 
Charles Russell, assisted by Mr. Pickford 
and Messrs. Cleaver, for the defense. 

An Unexpected Verdict 

When the trial began there was a strong 
feeling against me, but as it proceeded, and 



the fact was made clear that Mr. Maybrick 
had long been addicted to taking large 
quantities of arsenic, coupled with the evi- 
dence, to quote Sir Charles Russell, (i) that 
there was no proof of arsenical poisoning, 
(2) that there was no proof that arsenic was 
administered to him by me, the prejudice 
against me gradually changed, until, at the 
close of the trial, there was a complete re- 
vulsion of sentiment, and my acquittal was 
confidently expected. 

When the jury retired to consider their 
verdict I was taken below, and here my so- 
licitor came to speak to me ; but the ten- 
sion of mind was so great I do not recall 
one word that he said. 

After what seemed to me an age, but 
was in reality only thirty-eight minutes, 
the jury returned into court and took their 
places in the jury-box. I was recalled to 
the dock. When I stood up to hear the 
verdict I had an intuition that it was unfa- 
vorable. Every one looked away from me, 
and there was a stillness in court that could 



be felt. Then the Clerk of Arraigns arose 
and said : 

" Have you agreed upon the verdict, gen- 
tlemen ? " 
We have/' 

And do you find the prisoner guilty 
of the murder of James Maybrick or not 

The Foreman : " Guilty." 

A prolonged " Ah ! " strangely like the 
sighing of wind through a forest, sounded 
through the court. I reeled as if struck a 
blow and sank upon a chair. The Clerk 
of Arraigns then turned to me and said: 
" Florence Elizabeth Maybrick, you have 
been found guilty of wilful murder. Have 
you anything to say why the court should 
not pronounce sentence upon you accord- 
ing to the law?" 

I arose, and with a prayer for strength, I 
clasped the rail of the dock in front of me, 
and said in a low voice, but with firmness: 
" My lord, everything has been against me ; 
I am not guilty of this crime." 



The Judge's Sentence 

These were the last words which the law 
permitted me to speak. Mr. Justice Ste- 
phen then assumed the full dress of the 
criminal judge — the black cap — and pro- 
nounced the sentence of the court in these 
words : 

" Prisoner at the bar, I am no longer able 
to treat you as being innocent of the dread- 
ful crime laid to your charge. You have 
been convicted by a jury of this city, after 
a lengthy and most painful investigation, 
followed by a defense which was in every 
respect worthy of the man. The jury has 
convicted you, and the law leaves me no 
discretion, and I must pass the sentence 
of the law : 

" The court doth order you to be taken 
from hence to the place from whence you 
came, and from thence to the place of exe- 
cution, and that you be hanged by the neck 
until you are dead, and that your body be 
afterward buried within the precincts of 
the prison in which you shall be confined 
after your conviction. And may the Lord 
have mercy upon your soul 1 " 



Utterly stunned I was removed from the 
court to Walton Jail, there to be confined 
until this sentence of the law should be 
carried into effect. 

The mob, as the Liverpool public was 
styled by the press, before they had heard 
or read a word of the defense had hissed 
me when I entered the court; and now, 
that they had heard or read the evidence, 
cheered me as I drove away in the prison- 
van, and hissed and hooted the judge, who 
with difficulty gained his carriage. 

In the Shadow of Death 

In all the larger local English prisons 
there is one room, swept and ready, the 
sight of which can not fail to stir unwonted 
thoughts. The room is large, with barred 
windows, and contains only a bed and a 
chair. It is the last shelter of those whom 
the law declares to have forfeited their 
lives. Near by is a small brick building 
in the prison-yard, that has apparently 



nothing to connect it with the room; 
yet they are joined by a sinister sug- 

For nearly three terrible weeks I was 
confined in this cell of the condemned, to 
taste the bitterness of death under its most 
appalling and shameful aspect. I was care- 
fully guarded by two female warders, who 
would gladly have been spared the task. 
They might not read nor sleep; at my 
meals, through my prayers, during every 
moment of agony, they still watched on and 
rarely spoke. Many have asked me what 
my feelings were at that awful time. I re- 
member little in the way of details as to my 
state of mind. I was too overwhelmed for 
either analytic or collective thought. Con- 
scious of my innocence, I had no fear of 
physical death, for the love of my Heav- 
enly Father was so enveloping that death 
seemed to me a blessed escape from a world 
in which such an unspeakable travesty of 
justice could take place; while I peti- 
tioned for a reconsideration of the verdict, 



it was wholly for the sake of my mother 
and my children. 

I knew nothing of any public efforts for 
my relief. I was held fast on the wheels of 
a slow-moving machine, hypnotized by the 
striking hours and the flight of my num- 
bered minutes, with the gallows staring me 
in the face. The date of my execution was 
not told me at Walton Jail, but I heard aft- 
erward that it was to have taken place on 
the 26th of August. On the 22d, while I 
was taking my daily exercise in the yard 
attached to the condemned cell, the govern- 
or, Captain Anderson, accompanied by 
the chief matron, entered. He called me 
to him, and, with a voice which — all honor 
to him — trembled with emotion, said : 

" Maybrick, no commutation of sentence 
has come down to-day, and I consider it 
my duty to tell you to prepare for death." 

"Thank you, governor," I replied; "my 
conscience is clear. God's will be done." 



Commutation of Sentence 

He then walked away and I returned to 
my cell. The female warder was weeping" 
silently, but I was calm and spent the ear- 
ly part of the night in my usual prayers. 
About midnight exhausted nature could 
bear no more, and I fainted. I had barely 
regained consciousness when I heard the 
shuffle of feet outside, the click of the key 
in the lock — that warning catch in the slow 
machinery of my doom. I sprang up, and 
with one supreme effort of will braced my- 
self for what I believed was the last act of 
my life. The governor and a chaplain en- 
tered, followed by a warder. They read 
my expectation in my face, and the gov- 
ernor, hastening forward, exclaimed in an 
agitated voice: "It is well; it is good 
news!" When I opened my eyes once 
more I was lying in bed in the hospital, 
and I remained there until I was taken to 
Woking Convict Prison. 


In Solitary Confinement 

Removal to Woking Prison 

ON the morning of the 29th of August 
I was hastily awakened by a female 
warder, who said that orders had come 
down from the Home Office for my removal 
that day to a convict prison. 

When I left, the governor was standing 
at the gate, and, with a kindliness of voice 
which I deeply appreciated, told me to be 
brave and good. 

A crowd was in waiting at the station. 
I was roughly hustled through it into a 
third-class carriage. 

The only ray of light that penetrated 
those dark hours of my journey came from 
an American woman. God bless her, 



whoever she is or wherever she is! At 
every station that the train stopped she got 
out and came to the carriage door and 
spoke words of sympathy and comfort. 
She was the first of my countrywomen to 
voice to me the protest that swelled into 
greater volume as the years rolled by. 

As the train drew up at Woking station a 
crowd assembled. Outside stood a cab, to 
which I was at once conducted, and we 
drove through lovely woods; the scent of 
flowers was wafted by the breeze into what 
seemed to be a hearse that was bearing me 
on toward my living tomb. 

As we approached the prison the great 
iron gate swung wide, and the cab drove 
silently into the yard. There I descended. 
The governor gave an order, and a woman 
— who I afterward found was assistant 
superintendent — came forward. Accom- 
panied by her and an officer, I was led 
across a near-by yard to a building which 
stood somewhat apart from the others and 
is known as the infirmary. There a princi- 



pal matron received me, and the assistant 
superintendent and the chief matron re- 
turned to their quarters. 

The Convict Uniform 

In the grasp of what seemed to me a hor- 
rible nightmare, I found myself in a cell 
with barred windows, a bed, and a chair. 
Without, the stillness of death reigned. I 
remained there perhaps half an hour when 
the door opened and I was commanded by 
a female warder to follow her. In a daze 
I obeyed mechanically. We crossed the 
same yard again and entered a door that 
led into a room containing only a fireplace, 
a table, and a bath. Here I was told to 
take off my clothes, as those I had traveled 
in had to be sent back to the prison at Liv- 
erpool, where they belonged. 

When I was dressed in the uniform to 
which the greatest stigma and disgrace is 
attached, I was told to sit down. The 
warder then stepped quickly forward, and 
with a pair of scissors cut off my hair to the 


. I 


nape of my neck. This act seemed, above 
all others, to bring me to a sense of my 
degradation, my utter helplessness; and 
the iron of the awful tragedy, of which I 
was the innocent victim, entered my soul. 
I was then weighed and my height taken. 
My weight was one hundred and twelve 
pounds, and my height five feet three 

Once more I was bidden to: follow my 
guide. We recrossed the yard and entered 
the infirmary. Here I was locked in the 
cell already mentioned. At last I could be 
alone after the anguish and torture of the 
day. I prayed for sleep that I might lose 
consciousness of my intolerable anguish. 
But sleep, that gentle nurse of the sad and 
suffering, came not. What a night 1 I 
shudder even now at the memory of it 
Physically exhausted, smarting with the 
thought of the cruel, heartless way in which 
I had been beaten down and trodden under 
foot, I felt that mortal death would have 
been more merciful than the living death 



to which I was condemned. In the adjoin- 
ing cell an insane woman was raving and 
weeping throughout the night, and I won- 
dered whether in the years to come I should 
become like her. 

The next day I was visited by the govern- 
or on his official rounds. Then the doc- 
tor came and made a medical examination, 
and ordered me to be detained in the infir- 
mary until further orders. My mind is a 
blank as to what happened for some time 
afterward. My next remembrance is being 
told by a coarse-looking, harsh-spoken fe- 
male warder to get ready to go into the 
prison. Once more • I was led across the 
big yard, and then I stood within the walls 
that were to be for years my tomb. Out- 
side the sun was shining and the birds were 

In Solitary Confinement 

Without, picture a vast outline of frown- 
ing masonry. Within, when I had passed 
the double outer gates and had been locked 
5 65 


out and locked in in succession, I found 
myself in a central hall, from which ran 
cage-like galleries divided into tiers and 
landings, with a row of small cells on either 
side. The floors are of stone, the landings 
of slate, the railings of steel, and the stairs 
of iron. Wire netting is stretched over the 
lowest tier to prevent prisoners from throw- 
ing themselves over in one of those frenzies 
of rage and despair of which every prison 
has its record. Within their walls can be 
found, above all places, that most degra- 
ding, heart-breaking product of civilization, 
a human automaton. All will, all initiative, 
all individuality, all friendship, all the 
things that make human beings attractive 
to one another, are absent. Suffering there 
is dumb, and when it goes beyond endur- 
ance — alas ! 

I followed the warder to a door, perhaps 
not more than two feet in width. She un- 
locked it and said, " Pass in.*' I stepped 
.forward, but started back in horror. 
Through the open door I saw, by the dim 




light of a small window that was never 
cleaned, a cell seven feet by four. 

Oh, don't put me in there!" I cried, 

I can not bear it." 

For answer the warder took me rough- 
ly by the shoulder, gave me a push, and 
shut the door. There was nothing to sit 
upon but the cold slate floor. I sank to 
my knees. I felt suffocated. It seemed 
that the walls were drawing nearer and 
nearer together, and presently the life 
would be crushed out of me. I sprang to 
my feet and beat wildly with my hands 
against the door. " For God's sake let me 
out ! Let me out ! " But my voice could 
not penetrate that massive barrier, and ex- 
hausted I sank once more to the floor. I 
can not recall those nine months of solitary 
confinement without a feeling of horror. 
My cell contained only a hammock rolled 
up in a corner, and three shelves let into the 
wall-^no table nor stool. For a seat I was 
compelled to place my bedclothes on the 



The Daily Routine 

No one can realize the horror of solitary 
confinement who has not experienced it. 
Here is one day's routine: It is six o'clock; 
I arise and dress in the dark ; I put up my 
hammock and wait for breakfast. I hear 
the ward officer in the gallery outside. I 
take a tin plate and a tin mug in my hands 
and stand before the cell door. Presently 
the door opens ; a brown, whole-meal, six- 
ounce loaf is placed upon the plate ; the tin 
mug is taken, and three-quarters of a pint 
of gruel is measured in my presence, when 
the mug is handed back in silence, and the 
door is closed and locked. After I have 
taken a few mouthfuls of bread I begin to 
scrub my cell. A bell rings and my door 
is again unlocked- No word is spoken, 
because I know exactly what to do. I 
leave my cell and fall into single file, three 
paces in the rear of my nearest fellow con- 
vict. All of us are alike in knowing what 
we have to do, and we march away silently 



to Divine service. We are criminals under 
punishment, and our keepers march us like 
dumb cattle to the worship of God. To 
me the twenty minutes of its duration were 
as an oasis in a weary desert. When it 
came to an end I felt comforted, and always 
a little more resigned to my fate. Chapel 
over, I returned directly to my cell, for I 
was in solitary confinement, and might not 
enjoy the privilege of working in company 
with my prison companions. 

Work I must, but I must work alone. 
Needlework and knitting fall to my lot. 
My task for the day is handed to me, and I 
sit in my cell plying my needle, with the 
consciousness that I must not indulge in 
an idle moment, for an unaccomplished 
task means loss of marks, and loss of marks 
means loss of letters and visits. As chapel 
begins at 8 130 I am back in my cell soon 
after nine, and the requirement is that I 
shall make one shirt a day — certainly not 
less than five shirts a week. If I am obsti- 
nate or indolent, I shall be reported by the 



ward officer, and be brought to book with 
punishment — perhaps reduced to a diet of 
bread and water and total confinement in 
my cell for twenty-four hours. If I am 
faint, weak, or unwell, I may be excused 
the full performance of my task ; but there 
must be no doubt of my inability. In such 
case it is for me to have my name entered 
for the prison doctor, and obtain from him 
the indulgence that will remit a portion of 
my prescribed work to three or four shirts. 
However, as I am well, I work automat- 
ically, closely, and with persistence. Then 
comes ten o'clock, and with it the governor 
with his escort. He inspects each cell, and 
if all is not as it should be, the prisoner will 
hear of it. There is no friendly greeting 
of "Good-morning" nor parting "Good- 
night" within those gloomy walls. The 
tone is formal and the governor says: 
" How are you, Maybrick? Any com- 
plaints? Do you want anything?" and 
then he passes on. Then I am again alone 

with my work and my brooding thoughts. 



I never made complaints. One but adds 
to one's burden by finding causes for com- 
plaint. With the coming and the going 
of the governor the monotony returns to 

The Exercise Hour 

Presently, however, the prison bell rings 
again. I know what the clangor means, 
and mechanically lay down my work. It 
is the hour for exercise, and I put on my 
bonnet and cape. One by one the cell 
doors of the ward are opened. One by one 
we come out from our cells and fall into 
single file. Then, with a ward officer in 
charge, we march into the exercise yard. 
We have drawn up in line, three paces 
apart, and this is the form in which we 
tramp around the yard and take our exer- 
cise. This yard is perhaps forty feet 
square, and there are thirty-five of us to 
expand in its "freedom." The inclosure 
is oppressively repulsive. Stone-flagged, 
hemmed within ugly walls, it gives one a 



hideous feeling of compression. It seems 
more like a bear-pit than an airing ground 
for human beings. But I forget that we 
are not here to have things made easy, 
comfortable, and pleasant for us. We are 
here to be punished, to be scourged for our 
crimes and misdeeds. Can you wonder 
that human nature sometimes revolts and 
dares even prison rigor? Human instincts 
may be suppressed, but not wholly crushed. 

There were at Woking two yards in 
which flowers and green trees were visible, 
but it was only in after years that I was per- 
mitted to take my exercise in these yards, 
and then only half an hour on Sunday. 

When the one hour for exercise is over, 
in a file as before, we tramp .back to our 
work. Confined as we are for twenty-two 
hours in our narrow, gloomy cells, the ex- 
ercise, dull as it is, is our only opportunity 
for a glimpse of the sky and for a taste of 
outdoor life, and affords our only relief from 
an otherwise almost unbearable day. 



The Midday Meal 

At noon the midday meal. The first 
sign of its approach is the sound of the fa- 
tigiae party of prisoners bringing the food 
from the kitchen into the ward. I hear 
the ward officer passing with the weary 
group from ceU to cell, and presently she 
will reach my door. My food is handed to 
me, then the door is closed and double 
locked* In the following two hours, hav- 
ing finished my meal, I can work or read. 
At two o'clock the fatigue party again goes 
on its mechanical round ; the cell door is 
again unlocked, this time for the collection 
of dinner-cans. The meal of each prisoner 
is served out by weight, and the law allows 
her to claim her full quantity to the utter- 
most fraction of an ounce. She is even en- 
titled to see it weighed if she fancies it falls 
short. Work is then resumed until five 
o'clock, when gruel and bread is again 
served, as at breakfast, with half an hour 
for its disposal. From that time on until 



seven o'clock more work, when again is 
heard the clang of the prison bell, and with 
it comes the end of our monotonous day. 
I take down my hammock, and once more 
await the opening of the door. We have 
learned exactly what to do. With the 
opening of our cells we go forward, and 
each places her broom outside the door. So 
shall it be known that we each have been 
visited in our cells before the locking of 
our doors and gates for the night. If any 
of us are taking medicine by the doctor's 
orders we now receive it. On through the 
ten long, weary hours of the night the 
night officers patrol the wards, keeping 
watch, and through a glass peep-hole si- 
lently inspect us in our beds to see that 
nothing is amiss. 

The Cruelty of Solitary Confinement 

Solitary confinement is by far the most 
cruel feature of English penal servitude. 
It inflicts upon the prisoner at the com- 



mencement of her sentence, when most 
sensitive to the horrors which prison pun- 
ishment entails, the voiceless solitude, the 
hopeless monotony, the long vista of to- 
morrow, to-morrow, to-morrow stretching 
before her, all filled with desolation and de- 
spair. Once a prisoner has crossed the 
threshold of a convict prison, not only is 
she dead to the world, but she is expected 
in word and deed to lose or forget every 
vestige of her personality. Verily, 

The mills of the gods grind slowly. 
But they grind exceeding small. 

And woe to the wight unholy 
On whom those millstones fall. 

So it is with the Penal Code which di- 
rects this vast machinery, doing its utmost 
with tireless, ceaseless revolutions to mold 
body and soul slowly, remorselessly, into 
the shape demanded by Act of Parliament. 


The Period of Probation 

A Change of Cell 

THE day I had completed the nine -^ 
raonths of solitary confinement I -en- 
tered upon a new stage, that of probation 
for nine months. I was taken from Hall 
G to Hall A. There were in Woking sev- 
en halls, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, separated by 
two barred doors and a narrow passage. 
Every hall has three wards. The female 
warder who accompanied nle locked me in 
my cell. I looked around with a sense of 
intense relief. The cell was as large again 
as the one I had left. The floor was of 
wood instead of slate. It contained a camp 
bedstead on which was placed a so-called 
mattress, consisting of a sack the length of 
the bed, stuffed with coir, the fiber of the 



coconut. There were also provided two 
coarse sheets, two blankets, and a red 
counterpane. In a corner were three iron 
shelves let in the wall one above the other. 
On the top shelf was folded a cape, and on 
top of this there was a small, coarse straw 
bonnet. The second shelf contained a tin 
cup, a tin plate, a wooden spoon, and a 
salt-cellar. The third shelf was given up to 
a slate, on which might be written com- 
plaints or requests to the governor ; it is a 
punishable offense in prison to write with 
a pencil or on any paper not provided. 

There was also a Bible, a prayer-book 
and hymn-book, and a book from the libra- 
ry. Near the door stood a log of wood up- 
right, fastened to the floor, and this was 
the only seat in the cell. It was immovable, 
and so placed that the prisoner might al- 
ways be in view of the warder. Near it, let 
into the wall, was a piece of deal board, 
which answered for a table. Through an 
almost opaque piece of square glass light 
gjinimered from the hall, the only means of 



lighting the cell at night ; facing this, high 
up, was a barred window admitting light 
from the outside. 

Evils of the Silent System 

The routine of my daily life was the 
same as during "solitary confinement." 
The cell door may be open, but its outer 
covering or gate is locked, and, although I 
knew there was a human creature sepa- 
rated from me only by a cell wall and an- 
other gate, not a whisper might I breathe. 
There is no rule of prison discipline so pro- 
ductive of trouble and disaster as the " silent 
system," and the tyrannous and rigorous 
method with which it is enforced is the 
cause of two-thirds of all the misconduct 
and disturbance that occurs in prison. 
The silence rule gives supreme gratifica- 
tion to the tyrannous officer, for on the 
slightest pretext she can report a woman 
for talking — a turn of the head, a move- 
ment of the lips is enough of an excuse for 



a report. And there is heavy punishment 
that can be inflicted for this offense, both 
in the male and female prisons. An offend- 
er may be consigned to solitary confine- 
ment, put for three days on bread and wa- 
ter, or suffer the loss of a week's remission, 
which means a week added to her term of 
imprisonment — and all this for incautiously 
uttering a word. 

Unless it be specifically intended as a 
means of torture, the system of solitary 
confinement, even for four months, the 
term to which it has since been reduced, 
can meet only with condemnation. I am 
convinced that, within limits, the right of 
speech and the interchange of thought, at 
least for two hours daily, even during pro- 
bation, would insure better discipline than 
perpetual silence, which can be enforced 
only by a complete suppression of nature, 
and must result in consequent weakness of 
mind and ruin of temper. During the first 
months of her sentence a prisoner is more 
frequently in trouble for breach of this one 



rule than from all other causes. The re- 
duction of the term of probation from nine 
to four months has been followed by a re- 
duction in mental afflictions, which is proof 
that nothing wholesome or good can have 
its growth in unnatural solitude. 

The silent system has a weakening ef- 
fect upon the memory. A prisoner often 
finds difficulty in deciding upon the pro- 
nunciation of words which she has not 
heard for a considerable period. I often 
found myself, when desirous of using unu- 
sual words, especially in French or Ger- 
man, pronouncing them to myself in order 
to fljf the pronunciation in my memory. 
It is well to bear in mind what a small 
number of words the prisoner has an op- 
portunity of using in the monotony of pris- 
on life. The same inquiries are made day 
after day, and the same responses given. 
A vocabulary of one hundred words will 
include all that a prisoner habitually uses. 



Insanity and Nervous Breakdown of 


No defender of the silent system pre- 
tends that it wholly succeeds in preventing 
speech among prisoners. But be that as it 
may, a period of four months' solitary con- 
finement in the case of a female, and six 
months' in the case of a male, and espe- 
cially of a girl or youth, is surely a crime 
against civilization and humanity. Such a 
punishment is inexpressible torture to both 
mind and body. I speak from experience. 
The torture of continually enforced silence 
is known to produce insanity or nervous 
breakdown more than any other feature 
connected with prison discipline. Since 
the passing of the Act of 1898, mitigating 
this form of punishment, much good has 
been accomplished, as is proved by the 
' diminution of insanity in prison life, the 
decreasing scale of prison punishment, and 
the lessening of the death-rate. By still 
further reducing this barbarous practise, 
6 81 


or, better, by abolishing it entirely, corre- 
sponding happy results may confidently be 
expected. The more the prisoners are 
placed under conditions and amid sur- 
roundings calculated to develop a better 
life, the greater is the hope that the system 
will prove curative ; but so long as prison- 
ers are subjected to conditions which have 
a hardening effect at the very beginning of 
their prison life, there is little chance of ul- 
timate reformation. 

Need of Separate Confinement for / 
THE Weak-Minded 

There are many women who hover about 
the borderland of insanity for months, pos- 
sibly for years. They are recognized as 
weak-minded, and consequently they make 
capital out of their condition, and by the 
working of their distorted minds, and petty 
tempers, and unreasonable jealousy, add 
immeasurably not only to the ghastliness of 
the " house of sorrow," but are a sad clog 
on the efforts to self-betterment of their 



level-minded sisters in misery. Of these 
many try hard to make the best of what 
has to be gone through. Therefore, is it 
necessary, is it wise, is it right that such a 
state of things should be allowed? The 
weak-minded should be kept in a separate 
place, with their own officers to attend 
them. Neither the weak-minded, the epi- 
leptic, nor the consumptives were isolated. 
There is great need of reform wherever 
this is the case. Prisoners whose behavior 
is different from the normal should be sep- 
arated from the other prisoners, and made 
to serve out their sentences under specially 
adapted conditions. 

I read in the newspapers that insanity is 
on the increase ; this fact is clearly reflect- 
ed within the prison walls. It is stated 
that the insane form about three per thou- 
sand of the general population. In local 
English prisons insanity, it is said, even 
after deducting those who come in insane, 
is seven times more prevalent than among 
the general population. 



Reading an Insufficient Rei-axation 

The nervous crises do not now supervene 
so frequently as formerly in the case of 
prisoners of a brooding disposition, but the 
fact remains that, in spite of the slight 
amelioration, mental light is still excluded 
— that communion on which rests all hu- 
man well-being. The vacuity of the soli- 
tary system, to some at least, is partially 
lighted by books. But what of those who 
can not read, or who have not sufficient 
concentration of mind to profit by reading 
as a relaxation ? There are many such, in 
spite of the high standard of free educa- 
tion that prevails at the present day. The 
shock of the trial, and the uprooting of a 
woman's domestic ties, coupled with the 
additional mental strain of having to start 
her prison eareer in solitary confinement, 
is surely neither humane, nor merciful, nor 
wise. These months of solitary confine- 
ment leave an ineffaceable mark. It is 
during the first lonely months that the seeds 



of bitterness and hardness of heart are 
sown, and it requires more than a passive 
resistance — nay, nothing short of an unfal- 
tering faith and trust in an overruling Provi- 
dence — to bring a prisoner safely through 
the ordeal. Let the sympathetic reader try 
to realize what it means never to feel the 
touch of anything soft or warm, never to 
see anything that is attractive — nothing 
but stone above, around, and beneath. The 
deadly chill creeps into one's bones; the 
bitter days of winter and the still bitterer 
nights were torture, for Woking Prison was 
not heated. My hands and feet were cov- 
ered with chilblains. 

My Sufferings from Cold and Insomnia 

Oh, the horrors of insomnia! If one 
could only forget one's sufferings in sleep ! 
During all the fifteen years of my impris- 
onment, insomnia was (and, alas I is still) 
my constant companion. Little wonder! 
I might fall asleep, when suddenly the 



whole prison is awakened by shriek upon 
shriek, rending the stillness of the night. 
I am now, perforce, fully awake. Into 
my ears go tearing all the shrill exe- 
crations and blasphemies, all the hideous 
uproars of an inferno, compounded of 
bangs, shrieks, and general demoniac ra- 
gings. The wild smashing of glass startles 
the halls. I lie in my darkened cell with 
palpitating heart. Like a savage beast, the 
woman of turmoil has torn her clothing 
and bedding into shreds, and now she is 
destroying all she can lay hands on. The 
ward officers are rushing about in slippered 
feet, the bell rings summoning the ward- 
ers, who are always needed when such out- 
bursts occur, and the woman, probably in a 
strait-jacket, is borne to the penal cells. 
Then stillness returns to the ghastly place, 
and with quivering nerves I may sleep — if 
I can* 



Medical Attendance 

But what if one is ill in the night ? The 
lonely prisoner in her cell may summon aid 
by ringing the bell. The moment it is set 
in motion it causes a black iron slab to pro- 
ject from the outer wall of her cell in the 
gallery. On the slab is the prisoner's num- 
ber, and the ward officer, hearing the bell, 
at once looks for the cell from which the 
call has been sent. Presently she finds it, 
then fetches the principal matron, and to- 
gether they enter the hard, unhomelike 
place. If the prisoner is ill they call the 
doctor of the prison, and medicines and aid 
will be given. But sympathy is no part 
of their official duty, and be the warder 
never so tender in her own domestic circle, 
tenderness must not be shown toward a 
prisoner. The patient may be removed 
from her cell to the infirmary, where they 
will care for her medically, perhaps as well 
as they would in a hospital ; she may even 
receive a few flowers from an infirmary 



warder whose heart comes out from its 
official shell ; but through it all, sick though 
she be, she is still a prisoner under lock 
and key, a woman under surveillance, a 
woman denied communion with her kind. 

Added Sufferings of the Delicately 


What words can adequately describe the 
long years, blank and weary enough for all 
prisoners, but which are indescribably so 
to one who has been delicately nurtured ! I 
had enjoyed the refinements of social life ; 
I had pitied, and tried, as far as lay in my 
power, to help the poor and afflicted, but 
I had never known anything of the bar- 
barism, the sordid vices of low life. And I 
was condemned to drag out existence amid 
such surroundings, because twelve ignorant 
men had taken upon themselves to decide 
a question which neither the incompetent 
judge nor the medical witnesses could 
themselves determine. 



So far as I can learn, there is no other 
instance of a woman undoubtedly innocent 
and of gentle birth, confined for a term of 
nearly fifteen years in an English convict 
prison. In the nature of things a delicate 
woman feels more acutely than a robust 
prisoner the rigors of prolonged captivity. 

Neither confidence nor respect can be 
secured when punishment is excessive, for 
it then becomes an act of persecution, suit- 
able only for ages of darkness. The su^ 
pineness of Parliament in not establishing 
a court of criminal appeal fastens a dark 
blot upon the judicature of England, and is 
inconsistent with the innate love of justice 
and fair play of its people. 

How Criminals and Imbeciles are 


The law in prison is the same for the 
rich as the poor, the " Star Class " as for 
the ignorant, brutalized criminal. My reg- 
ister was " L. P. 29." These letters and 



numbers were worked in white cotton 
upon a piece of black cloth. Your sen- 
tence is indicated thus : " L " stands for 
penal servitude for life ; " P " for the year 
of conviction, which in my case was the 
sixteenth year since the previous lettering. 
This is done every twenty-five years. The 
"29" meant that I was the twenty-ninth 
convict of my year, 1889. In addition to 
this register I wore a red cloth star placed 
above it. The "Star Class," of which I 
was a member, consisted of women who 
have been convicted of one crime only, 
committed in a moment of weakness or 
despair, or under pressure which they were 
not strong enough to resist at the time, 
such as infanticide, forgery, incendiarism ; 
and who, having been educated and re- 
spectably brought up, betray otherwise no 
criminal instincts or inclinations; and who, 
when in the world, would be distinct in 
character from the habitual criminal, not 
only from a social point of view, but in 
their virtues, faults, and crimes. 



There should be separate rules and privi- 
leges to meet the case of a prisoner guilty 
of moral lapses only, as distinguished from 
the habitual breaker of the laiws. At pres- 
ent the former gets the same treatment and 
discipline as the habitual criminal of sev- 
eral convictions, and can not claim a single 
privilege that the old oflFender has not a 
right to ask — for example, members of 
both classes are limited to the same number 
of letters and visits. The " Star Class " is 
supposed to be kept separate from ordinary 
prisoners. It was so at Woking Prison. 
But at Aylesbury Prison, to which I was 
transferred later, they were sandwiched be- 
tween two wards of habitual criminals, with 
whom they came continually in contact, 
not only in passing to and from the work- 
shops, fetching meals, and going to exer- 
cise, but continuously. That contamina- 
tion should ensue is hardly surprising. It 
requires a will of iron, and nearly the spirit 
of a saint, not to be corrupted by .the sights 
and sounds of a prison, even when no word 



is spoken. It is a serious accusation 
against any system to say " that it produces 
the thing it is designed to prevent," but 
such, I am convinced, is the fact as regards 
the manufacture of criminals and imbeciles 
by the present system of penalism almost 
the world over. 


The Period of Hard Labor 


HAVING passed solitary confinement 
and probation, I entered upon the 
third stage, hard labor, when I was per- 
mitted to leave my cell to assist in carrying 
meals from the kitchen, and to sit at my 
door and converse with the prisoners in the 
adjoining cells for two hours daily — but 
always in the presence of an officer who 
controls and limits the conversation. My 
daily routine was now also somewhat differ- 
ent from that of solitary confinement and 

At six o'clock the bell rings to rise. 
Half an hour later a second bell signifies to 
the ofiicers that it is time to come on duty. 
Each warder in charge of certain wards 



— there are three wards to each hall — then 
goes to the chief matron's office, where 
she receives a key wherewith to unlock the 
prisoners' cells. All keys are given up by 
the female warder before going oflf duty, 
and locked for the night in an iron safe 
under the charge of a male warder. When 
again in possession of her key she repairs 
to her ward, and at the order, " Unlock," she 
lets out the prisoners to empty their slops. 
This done, they are once more locked in, 
with the exception of three women who go 
down to the kitchen to fetch the cans of 
tea and loaves of bread which make up 
the prisoners' breakfast. At Woking the 
breakfast was of cocoa and coarse meal 
bread, while later, at Aylesbury, it con- 
sisted of tea and white bread. I am con- 
strained to remark here that more consid- 
eration should be shown by the medical 
officer toward women who complain of 
being physically unfit to do heavy lift- 
ing and carrying. The can is carried by 
two women up two or three flights of 



stairs, according to the location of their 
^ward, and the bread by one woman only. 
Each can contains fourteen quarts of tea, 
and the bread-basket holds thirty pounds 
or more of bread. To a woman with 
strong muscles it may cause no distress, 
but in the case of myself and others equally 
frail, the physical strain was far beyond 
our strength, and left us utterly exhausted 
after the task. 

The breakfast was served at seven 
o'clock, when the officers returned to the 
mess-room to take theirs. At 7 130 a bell 
rang again, and the officers returned to their 
respective wards. At ten minutes to eight 
the order was given, " Unlock." Once 
more the doors were opened. Then fol- 
lowed the order, " Chapel," and each wom- 
an stood at her door with Bible, prayer- 
book, and hymn-book in hand. At the 
words " Pass on," they file one behind the 
other into the chapel, where a warder 
from each ward sits with her back to the 
altar that she may be able the better to 



Watch those under her charge and see that 
they do not speak. After a service of 
twenty minutes the prisoners file back to 
their cells, place their books on the lower 
shelf, and with a drab cape and a white 
straw hat stand in readiness for the next 
order, " To your doors." This given, they 
descend into the hall and pass out to their 
respective places of work. 

Talk with the Chaplain 

Many of these women have their tender, 
spiritual moments. At such times they 
will beg for a favorite hymn to be sung at i 
the chapel service on Sunday, and their re- 
quests are generally granted by the chap- 
lain. He is the only friend of the prisr 
oner, and his work is arduous and often 
thankless. He is the only one within the 
walls to whom she may turn for sympathy 
and advice. It may not be every woman 
who gladly avails herself of the enforced 
privilege of attending daily chapel. " Re- 



ligiOh," as a terfti, is unpalatable to matiy. 
But there at-e Very few who are hot better 
and happiei' for the few moments' unoffi- 
cial talk with her chaplain, be she Protes- 
tant Of Roman Catholic. 

It is to be regtetted that his authority 
is so limited, and his opporttmities for 
btightening the lives of thofee who Walk ih 
dark places so few. Red tape and standing 
orders confront him at every turn, so that 
even the religious tiaining is drawn and 
sucked beneath the mighty wheel of the 
Penal Code, and there is no time for per- 
sonal suasion to play more than a mindt 
part in a convict's life. 

My Work in the Kitchen 

The work for first offenders, who are 
called the " Star Class,*' consists of labor 
in the kitchen, the mess, and the officers' 
quarters^ Six months after I entered upon 
the third stage I was put to Work in the 
kitchen. My duties were as follows: To 
7 ^7 


wash ten cans, each holding four quarts; 
to scrub one table, twenty feet in length ; 
two dressers, twelve feet in length ; to wash 
five hundred dinner-tins; to clean" knives; 
to wash a sack of potatoes; to assist in 
serving the dinners, and to scrub a piece of 
floor twenty by ten feet. Besides myself 
there were eight other women on hard la- 
bor in the kitchen. Our day commenced 
at 6 A.M., and continued until 5:30 pjh. 
A half hour at breakfast time, twenty min- 
utes at chapel, one hour and a half after 
the midday meal, and half an hour after tea 
summed up our leisure. The work was 
hard and rough. The combined heat of 
the coppers, the stove, and the steamers 
was overpowering, especially on hot sum- 
mer days ; but I struggled on, doing this 
work preferably to some other, because the 
kitchen was the only place where the mo- 
notony of prison life was broken. It was 
the " show place,** and all visitors looked in 
to see the food. 



The Machine-made Menu 

What dining in prison means may be 
judged by a perusal of the schedule as 
given in the Prison Commission Report: 

Dost for Female Convicts 


Three-quarters of a pint of cocoa, containing }^ ounce 
of cocoa, 2 ounces milk, }i ounce of molasses. 


Sunday. 4 ounces tinned pressed beef. Bread. 

3 ounces (cooked), with its 
own liquor, flavored with >^ 
ounce onions, and thickened 
with bread and potatoes left 
on previous days, % ounce 
of nour, and for every 100 
convicts, }i ounce of pepper. 
% pound potatoes. Bread. 

Saturday, i pint soup, containing 6 ounces of shins of 
beef (uncooked), i ounce pearl barley, j ounces of 
fresh ve^tables, including onions, and for every 
100 convicts, ^ ounce pepper, ji pound potatoes. 

Thursday. % pound pudding, containing i ounce 2 
dracnms water. % pound potatoes. Bread. 


Monday. Mutton 
Tuesday. Beef . . 
Wednesday. Mutton 
Friday. Beef . . . 




I pint gruel, containinp: 2 ounces oatmeal, ^ ounce mo- 
lasses, 2 ounces muk. Bread. 
Bread per convict per week, 118 ounces. 
Bread per copvict each week-day, 16 ounces. 
Bread per convict each Sunday, 22 ounces. 
Salt per convict per day, }i ounce,* 

Visitors to the Kitchen 

During the four years I worked in the 
kitchen I saw many people. The Duke 
of Connaught, Sir Evelyn Wood and his 
staff, Lord Alverston, Sir Edward du 
Cane, the late Lord Rothschild, and Sir 
Evelyn Ruggles-Brise, besides judges, magw 
istrates, authors, philanthropists and others 

* A convict employed in washing, or other exceptional 
hard work, may have daily an extra allowance of 3 
ounces bread, and cheese i ounce, as an intermediate 
meal between breakfast and dinner, and an extra allow- 
ance of I ounce of meat (uncooked) four times a week. 
A convict on entering the second-class will have the 
choice of i pint of tea (made of j/e ounce tea, }^ ounce of 
sugar, 2 ounces milk) and 2 ounces additionaJ bpead in* 
stead of gruel for supper: and a convict on entering the 
first or special class will nave, in addition to the aSove, 
the choice of 4 ounces of baked mutton qooked in its own 
liquor, not flavored or thickened, instead of boiled meat 
or soup, if she takes tea instead of gruel. The food is 
wholesome, but spoiled by overcooking. But oh, how 
jaded the palate becomes 1 



of an inquiring turn of mind, who had 
obtained the necessary permit to make the 
tour of the prison under the escort of the 
governor or one or two of his satellites. 
These ladies and gentlemen expressed the 
mo3t varied and sometimes startling opin- 
ions. I recollect on one occasion, when 
some visitors happened to be inspecting 
the kitchen during the dishing up of the 
hospital patients' dinner, one old gentle- 
man of the party was quite scandalized at 
the sight of a juicy mutton-chop and a 
tempting milk pudding. He expostulated 
in such a way that the governor hastened 
to explain that it was not the ordinary pris- 
on diet, but was intended for a very sick 
woman* Even then this old gentleman 
was not satisfied, and stalked out, audibly 
grumbling about people living on the fat 
of the land and getting a better dinner 
than he did. I firmly believe that he left 
the prison under the impression that its in- 
mates lived like pampered gourmets, and 
that he no longer marveled there were so 



many criminals when they were fed on ' 
such luxuries. 

The "Homeuke" Cell 

On another occasion a benevolent-look- 
ing old lady, having given everything and 
everybody as minute an inspection as 
was possible, expressed herself as being 
charmed, remarking: 

" Everything is so nice and homelike ! " 

I have often wondered what that good 
lady's home was like. 

A little philosophy is useful, a saving 
grace, even in prison; but people have 
such diflFerent ways of expressing sympa- 
thy. A visitor, who I have no doubt in- 
tended to be sympathetic, noticing the let- 
ter " L " on my arm, inquired: 

" How long a time have you to do ? " 

" I have just completed ten years," was 
my reply. 

"Oh, well," cheerfully responded the 
sympathetic one, " you have done half your 



time, haven't you? The remaining ten 
years will soon slip by"; and the visitor 
passed on, blissfully ignorant of the sword 
she had unwittingly thrust into my aching 
heart. Even if a prisoner has little or no 
hope of a mitigation, it is not pleasant to 
have an old wound ruthlessly handled, and 
ten years' imprisonment as lightly spoken 
of as ten days might be. 

The Opiate of Acquiescence 

I preferred the kitchen work, although 
often beyond my strength, to any other 
that fell to a prisoner's lot, because of the 
glimpses into the outside world it occasion- 
ally afforded. But I never permitted my- 
self to dwell upon the fact that at one time 
I had been the social equal of at least the 
majority of those with whom I thus came 
into passing contact, since to do so would 
have made my position by contrast so un- 
bearable that it would have unfitted me 
to do the work in a spirit of submission, 



not to spef^k of the mental suffering which 
^W^kened n^en^ories would h^ve occasioned. 
I soon found that both my spiritual and my 
mental salvation, under the repressive rules 
in force, depended upon unresisting acqui- 
escence — the keeping of my sensibilities 
dulled as near as possible to the level of the 
mere anijnal state which the Penal Code, 
whether intentionally or otherwise, inevita- 
bly brings about. 

I have been frequently asked by friends, 
since my release, how I could possibly have 
endured the shut-in life vender ^uch soul- 
depressing influences. I have given here 
and there in my narrative indicationp pf 
iny feelings under different circumstances. 

Here I may state in general that I early 
found that thoughts of without and thoughts 
of within— those that haunted me of the 
world and those that were ever present in 
my surroundings— would not march to- 
gether. I had to keep step with either the 
one or the other. The conflict between the 
two soon became unbearaWe, an4 I w?^s 


Tpp OPIATE OF acquiescb;ncp 

compelled to make choice : whether I would 
live in the past a-nd as much a3 possible ex- 
clude the prison, and take the punishment 
which ^yould inevitably foUow^aP it had 
in so many cases — in an unbalanced mind ; 
or wpuld ^hut the past out altogether and 
coerce my thoughts within the limitations 
of the prison regulations. My safety lay, 
as I found, in compressing my thoughts to 
the smallest compass of mental existence, 

and no sooner did worldly visions or 

memories intrude themselves, as they nec^ 
essarily would, than I immediately and res^ 
olutely shut them out as one draws the 
blind to exclude the light. While I thus 
suppressed all emotions belonging tp a nat- 
ural life, I nevertheless found, whenever I 
came accidentally in contact with visitors 
from the outside world, that my inner nar 
ture was attuned like the strings of a harp 
to the least vibration of others' emotionSf 
The slightest unconscious inflection of the 
voice, whether sympathetic or otherwise, 
would e&ll forth either a grateful response 



or an instant withdrawal into the armor of 
reserve which I had to adopt for my self- 
protection. But this exclusion of the world 
created a dark background which served 
only to intensify the light that shone upon 
me from realms unseen of mortal eyes. 
Lonely I was, yet I was never alone. But, 
however satisfying the spiritual commun- 
ion, the human heart is so constituted that 
it needs must yearn for love and sympathy 
from its own kind, for recognition of all 
that is best in us, by something that is like 
unto it, in its experiences, feelings, emo- 
tions, and aspirations. 

Visrrs OF Prisoners' Friends 

A prisoner is allowed to receive a visit 
from her friends at intervals of six^ four, 
and two months, according to her stage of 
service. There are four stages, each of 
nine months' duration: first, solitary con- 
finement; second, probation; while the 
third and fourth stages are not specially 



designated. During the first two stages 
the prisoner is clothed in brown, at the 
third stage in green, and the fourth in 
navy blue. Every article worn by the pris- 
oner or in use by her is stamped with a 
" broad arrow," the convict's crest. 

A visit may be forfeited by bad conduct 
or delayed through a loss of marks. When 
a prisoner is entitled to receive a visitor, 
she applies to the governor for permission 
to have the permit sent to the person she 
names ; but if the police report concerning 
the designated visitor is unfavorable the 
request is not granted. When a prisoner's 
friends— three being the maximum— arrive 
at the prison gates they ring a bell. The 
gatekeeper views them through a grille and 
inquires their business. They show their 
permit; whereupon he notifies the chief 
matron, who in turn notifies the officer in 
charge of the prisoner. 

The rule regarding visits precluded any 
discussion of prison affairs, or anything 
regarding treatment, or aught that passes 



within the prison wallsi Had I permitted 
myself to break this rule the visit would 
have been stopped at once by the mktrdn 
iii charge. Consequently, all thi6 state- 
ments on such matters reported from time 
to time in the press durihg my impriscft5h 
metit, and quoted as t'eceived from my 
mother or frieilds, are shown to be pure 

My Mother's Visits 

A visit ! What joy or what sorrow those 
words express in the outside world I But 
in prison— the pain of it is so great that it 
can hardly be borne* 

Whehever my mother's visit was an- 
nounced, accompanied by a matron I 
passed into a stnallj oblong rooitt. There 
a grilled screen confronted me ; a yard or 
two beyond was & second barrier identi- 
cal in structure, and behind it I could 
see the form of my mother, and sitting 
in the space between the grilles, thus addi- 
tionally separating us, was a prison ma- 



'tron. No kiss; not even a clasp of the 
Jiand; no privacy sacred to mother and 
^daughter; not a whisper could pass be- 


^tween UB. Was not this the very depth of 


^ My mother crossed every two months 
from France to visit me. Neither heat nor 

' cold deterred her from taking this fatiguing 

' journey. Thus again and again she trav 
eled a hundred miles for love of me, to 
cheer, comfort, and console; a hundred 
miles for thirty minutes I 

At these visits she would tell me as best 
she could of the noble, unwearied efforts 
of my countrymen and countrywomen in 
my cause ; of the sympathy and support of 
my own Government ; of the earnest efforts 
of the different American ambassadors in 
my behalf. And though their efforts 
proved all in vain, the knowledge of their 
belief in my innocence, and of their sympa- 
thy comforted, cheered, and strengthened 
me to tread bravely the thorny path of my 
daily life, 


^ I 


Almost before we had time to compose 
ourselves there would come a silent sign 
from the mute matron in the chair — ^the 
thirty minutes had passed. " Good-by," we 
say, with a lingering look, and then turn our 
backs upon each other, she to go one way, 
I another ; one leading out into the broad, 
open day, the other into the stony gloom 
of the prison. Do you wonder that when 
I went back into my lonely cell the day 
had become darker? I went forth to meet 
a crown of joy and love, only to return 
with a cross of sorrow; for these visits 
always created passionate longings for 
freedom, with their vivid recollections of 
past joys that at times were almost unbear- 
able. No one will ever know what my 
mother su£fered. 

A Letter from Lord Russell 

As the years passed the repression of 
the prison system developed a kind of 
mental numbness which rendered my life, 



in a measure, more endurable. It also 
came as a relief to my own sufferings to 
take an interest in those of my fellow pris- 
oners. Then Lord Russell of Killowen 
wrote me a letter* expressing his continued 
confidence in me, which greatly renewed 
my courage, while the loving messages from 
my friends in America kept alive my faith 
in human nature. 

Punished for Another's Fault 

By the exercise of great self-control and 
restraint I had maintained a perfect good- 
conduct record at Woking for a period of 
years, when an act of one of my fellow pris- 
oners got me into grievous trouble. 

It is the rule to search daily both the cell 
and the person of all prisoners — those at 
hard labor three times a day — to make 
sure that they have nothing concealed with 
which they may do themselves bodily in- 

* Reproduced in the Introduction to Part Twa 


Mrs. MAVfeRldK'S oWff STOkV 

to me it i^is a bittef Itidigliity. I li^ras 
never allowed to forge!t that, beiilg a pris- 
oner, even my body was not my own. It 
was hot" rlble to be touched by Uhfrieiidly 
hands, yet I Was compelled to submit 
— to be Undt-essed and be seafChed. Dur- 
ing the term of my imprisonment I wa^ 
searched about ten thousand times, and oil 
only one occasion was anjrthing found con- 
trary to regulations. I had no knowledge 
of it at the time, as the article had been 
placed surreptitiously in my cell by another 
prisoner to save herself from puftishrtieiit. 

The facts are as follows: 1 was Working 
in the kitchen, when a prisoner upset some 
boiling water on my foot. I thought it 
best not to speak of it, and did hot, there- 
fore, mention it to any one. My foot, how- 
ever, became inflamed and caused me great 
pain, and the prisoner in question, noticing 
that t limped, inquired what the matter 
was. I told her that the coarse wool of my 
stocking was irritating the blister on my 

foot. Thereupoh ihe offered td give me 



some wool of a finer quality with which to 
knit a more comfortable pair. I was not 
aware at the time that this was not permit- 
ted, nor that the wool was stolen. When 
it neared her turn to be searched, having 
a lot of this worsted concealed in her bed, 
she made the excuse of indisposition in 
order to return to her cell and get rid of it. 
While there she transferred it from her 
cell to mine, its neighbor, the doors of the 
cells being open during working-time. 

When the time came to search my cell, 
the wool was, of course, found, and I was 
at once reported. The warder took me to 
the penal ward, and I was shut in a cell, in 
which the light came but dimly through a 
perforated sheet of iron. This was at eight 
A.M. At ten o'clock I was brought before 
the governor for examination and judg- 
ment. I stated that the wool did not be- 
long to me and that I was ignorant as to 
how it got into my cell. The governor 
took the officer's deposition to the effect 
that it was found in my cell, and reasoned 
3 113 


that I must, therefore, have knowledge of 
the article. I was taken back to the pun- 
ishment cell and left there for eight hours. 
When the officer opened the door to read 
to me the governor's judgment, I was 
found in a dead faint on the floor. With 
some difficulty I was restored to conscious- 
ness and was then removed to the hospital. 
When I had sufficiently recovered from 
the shock, I was allowed to return to my 
own cell in the hall to do my punishment. 
I was degraded for a month to a lower 
stage, with a loss of twenty-six marks, and 
had six days added to my original sentence. 
Had this offense occurred under the 
more enlightened system that obtains at 
Aylesbury Prison at the present time, I 
should have been forgiven, as it was a first 
o£fense under this particular rule. The 
governor at Woking was a just and hu- 
mane man, and he was not a little troubled 
to reconcile the fact of my being in posses- 
sion of this worsted, when I had no means 
of access to the tailor shop or of coming in 



contact with any of the workers there who 
alone had the handling of it. Of course, I 
could not explain that the worsted had 
been passed into the kitchen by one of the 
tailoresses, who came every morning to 
fetch hot water for use in the tailor-room, 
and who was a friend of the prisoner who 
put it in my cell. 

I was kept in the hall during the months 
of my penal punishment, and also for 
twelve months thereafter, since at that 
time a "report" always carried with it a 
loss of the privilege of working in the 
kitchen. When I had an opportunity, in 
" association time," of speaking to the pris- 
oner who had got me into this trouble, and 
reproached her for the injury she had done 
me, she frankly confessed her deed, but ex- 
cused herself by saying that she did not 
expect I would be punished ; that she was 
tempted to do it because at that time her 
case was under consideration at the Home 
Office, and that she had received the prom- 
ise of an early discharge if she did not have 


. I 


any " reports." She well knew that if this 
worsted had been found in her cell this 
promise would have been revoked. As she 
was a "life woman," and had served a long 
time, I had not the heart to deprive her of 
this, perhaps her only chance of freedom, 
through a vindication of myself. A week 
later I had the satisfaction of knowing that 
my silence had been the means of her lib- 

Forms of Punishment 

The punishment of prisoners at Woking 
consisted of : 

1. Loss of marks, termed in prison par- 
lance, "remission on her sentence," but 
without confinement in the penal ward. 

2. Solitary confinement for twenty-four 
hours in the penal ward, with loss of marks. 

3. Solitary confinement, with loss of 
marks, on bread and water from one to 
three days. 

4. Solitary confinement, with loss of 
marks, on bread and water for three days, 



either in a strait-jacket or "hobbles." 
Hobbling consists in binding the wrists 
and ankles of a prisoner, then strapping 
them together behind her back. This 
position causes great suffering, is bar- 
barous, and can be enforced only by the 
doctor's orders. 

5. To the above was sometimes added, 
in violent cases, shearing and blistering of 
the head, or confinement in the dark cell. 
The dark cell was underground, and' con- 
sisted of four walls, a ceiling, and a floor, 
with double doors, in which not a ray of 
light penetrated. No. 5 punishment was 
abolished at Aylesbury, but in that prison 
even to give a piece of bread to a fellow 
prisoner is still a punishable offense. 

The True Aim of Punishment 

Punishment should be carried out in a 
humane, sympathetic spirit, and not in a 
dehumanizing or tyrannous manner. It 

should be remedial in character, and not 


A I 


degrading and deteriorating. It should be 
the aim and object of the prison system 
to send a prisoner back into the world ca- 
pable of rehabilitating himself or herseH 
and becoming a useful citizen. The pun- 
ishment in a convict prison, within my 
knowledge, is carried out in an oppressive 
way, the delinquent is left entirely to her- 
self to work out her own salvation, and in 
nine cases out of ten she works out her 
own destruction instead, and leaves prison 
hardened, rancorous, and demoralized. 

The Evil of Collective Punishment 

There are so many prisoners with whom 
complaint-making is a mania, who on 
every possible occasion make trivial, exag- 
gerated, and false complaints, that it is not 
altogether strange that officials look with 
a certain skepticism on all fault-finding; 
hence it frequently happens that those 
with just grievances are discredited be- 
cause of the shortcomings of the habitiial 



grumblers. At the same time, one can 
not disapprove too strongly of collective 
punishment which involves the utter ab- 
sence of trust in any prisoner, however 
deserving. A prisoner slightly abuses a 
privilege or is guilty of some small in- 
fringement of the rules, when down comes 
the hammer wielded by the inexorable 
Penal Code, and strikes not only the one 
offending, but, in its expansive dealing, all 
the other prisoners, guilty or innocent of 
the offense. Many a privilege, trivial in 
itself and absolutely harmless, has been 
condemned because of its abuse by one 

I cite one instance. Each cell was pro- 
vided with a nail on which, during the day, 
the prisoner could hang a wet towel, and, 
during the night, her clothes. Those who 
worked in the laundry came in with wet 
clothing every evening, which, as no change 
is allowed, must be either dried at night or 
put on wet the next morning. One pris. 
oner pulled her nail out and purposely 



wounded herself. She was weak-minded, 
and no doubt thought to excite pity. The 
matter was referred to the director, Mr. 
Pennythorne, who gave the order that all 
the nails throughout the building be re- 
moved. Hence, because of the shortcom- 
ings of one weak-minded woman, all oppor- 
tunity for the working women to dry their 
clothes was taken from them. Others be- 
sides myself appealed to the director and 
protested. He replied that we would be 
obliged to submit to the edict the same as 
the rest, and that no distinction could be 
made in our favor. Of course we could 
not argue the matter; the penalty fell 
heavier upon the laundry women and the 
kitchen workers than upon myself. It is 
a glaring instance of the great wrong done 
by collective punishment. However, the 
prisoners had their revenge, for they never 
referred to him afterward except as " Mr. 



The Evil of Constant Supervision 

Individual supervision is compulsory, 
and in many cases it is essential, but not 
in all. Surely there are some prisoners 
Avho might, with good results, be trusted. 
The supervision is never relaxed ; the pris- 
oner is always in sight or hearing of an 
officer. During the day she is never trust- 
ed out of sight, and at night the watchful 
eye of the night officer can see her by 
means of a small glass fitted in the door of 
each cell. She may grow gray during the 
length of her imprisonment, but the rule 
of supervision is never relaxed, Try and 
realize what it means always to feel that 
you are watched. After all, these prison- 
ers are women, some may be mothers, and 
it is surely the height of wickedness and 
folly to crush whatever remnant of human- 
ity and self-respect even a convict woman 
may still have left her. These poor crea- 
tures who wear the brand of prison shame 
are guarded and controlled by women, but 



men make the rules which regulate every 
movement of their forlorn lives. 

Some Good Points of Convict Prisons 

The rules of prison, rigorous as they 
are, are not wholly without some consider- 
ation for the hapless beings who are con- 
demned to suflFer punishment for their sins 
within their gloomy walls. On the men's 
side the system is harsher, the life harder, 
and the discipline more strict and severe ; 
and I can well believe that for a man of 
refinement and culture the punishment 
falls little short of a foretaste of inferno. 
But gloomy and tragic as the convict es- 
tablishment is, it is a better place than the 
county prison, and I have heard habitual 
criminals avow that a convict prison is the 
nearest approach to a comfortable " home " 
in the penal world. I know that a certain 
type of degenerate women, after serving 
their sentences, have committed grave 
offenses with the sole object of obtaining a 



conviction which would send them back to 
penal servitude. For such the segregation 
system would be the most e£Eectual rem- 

My Sickness. 

I had never been a robust woman, and 
the hardships of prison life were breaking 
down my constitution. The cells at Wo- 
king were not heated. In the halls were 
two fireplaces and a stove, which were 
alight day and night; but as the solid 
doors of the cells were all locked, the heat 
could not penetrate them. Thus, while 
the atmosphere outside the cell might be 
warm, the inside was icy cold. During 
the hard winter frosts the water frequently 
froze in my cell over night. The bed- 
clothing was insufficient, and I suffered as 
much from the cold as the poorest and 
most miserable creature on earth. Added 
to this, I was compelled to go out and ex- 
ercise in all kinds of weather. On rainy 
days I would come in with my shoes and 



stockings wet through, and as I possessed 
only one pair of shoes and one pair of 
stockings, I had to keep them on, wet as 
they were. The shoes I had to wear until 
worn out; the stockings until changed on 
the Saturday of each week, which was the 
only day a change of any kind of under- 
wear could be obtained, no matter in what 
condition it might be. Therefore, the ma- 
jority of the inmates in the winter time 
seldom had dry feet, if there was much 
rain or snow, the natural result being ca- 
tarrh, influenza, bronchitis, and rheuma- 
tism, from all of which I suffered in turn. 

Taken to the Infirmary 

As long as the prisoner is not feverish 
she is treated in her own cell in the ward, 
her food remaining the ordinary prison 
dietary; but as soon as her temperature 
rises, as occurred in my case frequently, 
she is admitted as a patient to the infirm- 
ary, where she is fed according to medical 



The infirmary stands a little detached 
from the prison grounds. It has several 
wards, containing from six to fifteen beds, 
and several cells for cases that require iso- 
lation. The beds are placed on each side 
of the room, and are covered with blue 
and white counterpanes. At the head of 
each is a shelf, on which stand two cups, 
a plate, and a diet card. In the middle 
of each room is a long deal table. On the 
walls are a few old Scriptural pictures. 

The Utter Desolation of a Sick 


When a prisoner is admitted she is first 
weighed and then allotted a bed. Her 
food and medicine are given her by an 
officer, who places it on a chair at her bed- 
side if she is too ill to sit at the table. 
The doctor makes his rounds in the morn- 
ing and evening, and if the patient is 
seriously ill he may make a visit in the 
night also. The matron in charge goes 



through the wards at stated times to see 
that all is going well, but there is no 
nureing. The prisoner must attend to her 
own wants, and if too weak to do so, she 
must depend upon some other patient less 
ill than herself to assist her. To be sick 
in prison is a terrible experience. I felt 
acutely the contrast between former ill- 
nesses at home and the desolation and the 
indifference of the treatment under condi- 
tions afforded by a prison infirmary. To 
lie all day and night, perhaps day after day, 
and week after week, alone and in silence, 
without the touch of a friendly hand, the 
sound of a friendly voice, or a single ex- 
pression of sympathy or interest! The 
misery and desolation of it all can not be 
described. It must be experienced. I ar- 
rived at Woking ill, and I left Woking ill. 


At Aylesbury Prison 

Removal from Woking 

I HAD been admitted to the infirmary 
suflFering from a feverish cold. I had 
been in bed a fortnight and was feeling 
very weak, when, on the morning of No- 
vember 4, 1896, I awoke to find the ma- 
tron standing at my bedside. " Maybrick," 
she said, " the governor has given orders 
that you are to be removed to-day to 
Aylesbury Prison. Get up at once." 
Without a word of explanation she left. I 
had become a living rule of obedience, and 
so with trembling hands dressed myself. 
Presently I heard footsteps approaching. 
A female warder entered with a long, dark 
cloak covered with broad arrows, the insig- 
nia of the convict. I was told to put on 
this garment of shame. Then, supported 



by the warder, I crossed the big yard to the 
chief matron's office. There other women 
of the "Star Class" were waiting, hand- 
cuffed. A male warder stepped forward 
and told me to hold out my hands, where- 
upon he fastened on a pair of handcuffs and 
chained me to the rest of the gang. This 
was done by means of a chain which ran 
through an outer ring attached to each 
pair of handcufifs, thus uniting ten women 
in a literal chain-gang. This was to me 
the last straw of degradation — the parting 
indignity of hateful Woking; but, happily, 
this was a painful prelude to a more merci- 
ful regime at Aylesbury. 

Some of the women were weeping, some 
swearing. When all were ready the pris- 
on-van drove into the yard and we filed out 
to the clanking of our chains. Then the 
door was shut and we were driven off. A 
special train was waiting at the station, and 
escorted between male warders we got in. 
It was bitterly cold and raining heavily, 
but crowds lined the road and platforms. 




J ,^1 


T H, t 

■; Tm:."- ' 


New Insignia of Shame 

We were objects of morbid curiosity to 
the idle and curious people, who may or 
may not have felt sorry for us. But to be 
stared at was most distressing to all, to the 
first offender in particular. If the public 
but realized how prisoners suffer when 
their disgrace is thus brought to the public 
notice, they might feel ashamed of their 
lack of ordinary human consideration and 
pass on. But why should it be necessary at 
all to subject a prisoner to such humiliation 
and degradation ? Male as well as female 
prisoners could be transferred from one 
prison to another without attracting any 
notice in the street or at the station, if they 
were provided with garments for traveling 
upon which the hideous brand of shame — 
the "broad arrow'* — is not stamped. It is 
this mark of condemnation which attracts 
the morbid curiosity of the people. Such 
exhibitions and the callous disregard of a 
9 129 


prisoner's feelings can only harden and 
embitter the heart and lower his or her self- 

Arrival at Aylesbury Prison 

After a journey of nearly five hours we 
arrived at Aylesbury Station. The public 
were apparently aware that the first batch 
of convicts was to be transferred that day, 
as there were crowds at all the stations at 
which we stopped. When we got out at 
Aylesbury it was with difficulty that a pas- 
sage was made for us. The prison-vans 
were in readiness, and we were rapidly 
driven away. I felt weak and faint and 
cold. A thick fog enveloped the town, 
and I could see only the dim outlines of 
houses appearing and disappearing as we 
passed along. We stopped before what 
appeared a gigantic structure, and then 
drove through two large iron gates into a 
small courtyard. There we descended 
and drew up in line to be counted by the 




officer, while our numbers and names were 
gfiven to the governor, who stood waiting 
to receive us. The order " Pass on ! " was 
called by the matron in charge, whereupon 
we entered a long, dark, gloomy passage, 
at the end of which was a strong, barred 
door. This was unlocked, and, when we 
had passed in, relocked. 

I have already described what a prison 
is like. Again we stood in line. Then a 
male warder came forward. He unlocked 
my handcufiFs and unclasped the chain 
which bound me to my fellow convicts. 
With a clang that echoed through the 
empty halls they fell together to the 
ground. My wrists were bruised and sore 
from the long pressure of their combined 

Presently the order " Pass on ! " was re- 
peated, and, led by a female warder, we 
went up two flights of the iron stairway to 
the top ward of the hall. Each prisoner 
was then in turn locked into a cell. Thus 
ended my second journey as a prisoner. 



The contrast with former journeys in my 
life drew bitter tears from my eyes. 

During the remainder of the week daily 
batches of prisoners continued to arrive, 
and on the sixth day all had been duly 
transferred from Woking Prison, which 
was then turned into military barracks. 

After this short break in our prison life 
the same daily routine was once more ta- 
ken up. Whether it was due to the change 
of air or other physical causes I can not 
say, but from the time of my arrival I be- 
gan to droop. I lost strength and suflFered 
terribly from insomnia. 

A New Prison RiSgime 

Six months after our arrival, there came 
a change of authorities, and with the pass- 
ing of the years a more enlightened r^ 
gime was instituted by the Home Office. 
If a prisoner has any complaint to make 
or wishes to seek advice, she asks to have 
her name put down to see the governor. 



She is then termed a "wisher," and is 
*' seen " by him in his office in the presence 
of the chief matron. Her request is written 
down by him in her penal record, and if he 
can not settle the matter out of hand it is 
referred to a " visiting director," to whom 
the prisoner is permitted to make a state- 
ment. If this gentleman finds that his 
powders are insufficient to deal with the 
question, he in turn passes it on to the 
prison commission, and sometimes it goes 
even to the Secretary of State himself. 

The same privilege holds good concern- 
ing medical matters. If a prisoner is feel- 
ing ill she asks the officer in charge of the 
ward where she is located to enter her 
name on the doctor's book. At ten o'clock 
the prisoner is sent for, and sees the doctor 
in the presence of an infirmary nurse. He 
enters her name in a book, also the pre- 
scription, both of which are copied later 
in the prisoner's medical record. If a 
prisoner is dissatisfied with the treatment 
she is receiving, she can make application 



to see the " medical inspector," who comes 
to the prison every three months. But if 
neither the governor, nor the doctor, nor 
the director, nor the inspector gives satisr 
faction, then there is the " Board of Visit- 
ors " to inquire into the complaint. 

The Board of Visitors 

The idea of the " Board of Visitors " is 
to act as a guaranty to the public that 
everything is honest and above board, and 
that there can be no possibility of inhuman 
treatment. If this is the sole object in 
view — namely, that the prisoners shall be 
seen by these " visitors " — then the object 
is largely attained. They have done much 
to ameliorate the prisoners' condition. 
Whereas, at one time the women slept in 
their clothes, they are now provided with 
nightdresses; instead of sitting with their r 
feet always on the stone floor, they are 
now allowed a small mat, as well as a 
wooden stool ; and, as the result of many 



complaints regarding the rapid decay of 
teeth, toothbrushes are allowed, a conces- 
sion which I much appreciated. For a 
short time felt slippers were granted us, 
but these have been discontinued on the 
ground of expense. The same beneficent 
influence also secured wide-brimmed hats 
for the women. Formerly they had noth- 
ing to protect their eyes, and the reflected 
glare from the stone walls was the cause of 
much weakness and inflammation. 

There were several changes in the diet 
also. Tea was substituted for cocoa at 
breakfast and supper, white bread in lieu 
of wholemeal bread, and tinned meat re- 
placed the dry bread and cheese previously 
given on Sunday. 

The time of solitary confinement was re- 
duced from nine months to four, and im- 
mediately on its expiration the probation- 
ers can now work in "association" in 
either the laundry or the tailor's shops 
where the officers' uniforms— of brown 
cashmere in summer and navy-blue serge 



in winter— are made, besides all the cloth- 
ing for the prisoners' own use ; also in the 
twine-room, where excellent spinning- is 
done ; while the prisoner with special apti- 
tude may be recommended to the bead- 
room, which turns out really artistic work. 

Regulations Concerning Letters and 


The prisoners were also allowed to re- 
ceive three photographs of near relatives 
and to keep them in their cells. Previ- 
ously these had to be returned within 
twenty-four hours. Best of all, the inter- 
vals between letters and visits were re- 
duced by a month. The number of letters 
permitted to be sent by a prisoner varies 
according to the stage she is in. In the 
fourth stage a letter is allowed every two 
months, and a "special letter" occasion- 
ally, if the prisoner's conduct has been sat- 

The following is a copy of the prison 



regulations concerning communications 
betAveen prisoners and their friends : 

** The following regulations as to commu- 
nications, by visit or letter, between pris- 
; oners and their friends, are notified for the 
information of their correspondents: 

" The permission to write and receive let- 
ters is given to prisoners for the purpose 
: of enabling them to keep up a connec- 
tion with their respectable friends, and not 
that they may be kept informed of public 

" All letters are read by the prison author- 
h ities. They must be legibly written, and 
: not crossed. Any which are of an objec- 
j. tionable tendency, either to or from pris- 
, oners, or containing slang or improper ex- 
l pressions, will be suppressed. 

" Prisoners are permitted to receive and 
' to write a letter at intervals, which depends 
on the rules of the stage they attain by in- 
i' dustry and good conduct; but matters of 
l^i special importance to a prisoner may be 
li communicated at any time by letter (pre- 
paid) to the governor, who will inform the 
^ prisoner thereof, if expedient. 



"In case of misconduct the privilege of 
receiving and writing a letter may be for- 
feited for a time. 

" Money, books, postage-stamps, food, to- 
bacco, clothes, etc., should not be sent to 
prisoners for their use in prison, as noth- 
ing is allowed to be received at the prison 
for that purpose. 

" Persons attempting to clandestinely 
communicate with, or to introduce any ar- 
ticle to or for prisoners, are liable to fine 
or imprisonment, and any prisoner con- 
cerned in such practises is liable to be se- 
verely punished. 

" Prisoners' friends are sometimes applied 
to by unauthorized persons to send money, 
etc., to them privately, under pretense that 
they can apply it for the benefit of the pris- 
oners, and under such fraudulent pretense 
such persons endeavor to obtain money for 
themselves. Any letter containing such 
an application received by the friends of a 
prisoner should be at once forwarded by 
them to the governor. 

"Prisoners are allowed to receive visits 
from their friends, according to rules, at 
intervals which depend on their stage. 



" When visits are due to prisoners notifi- 
cation will be sent to the friends whom 
they desire to visit them." 

While in Woking Prison, under the priv- 
ilege of these rules, I wrote the following let- 
ter to the late Miss Mary A. Dodge (" Gail 
Hamilton") — she who was my most elo- 
quent and steadfast champion in America : 

P 29, June 24, 1892. 
Dear Miss Dodge: 

I feel that I owe you such a debt of grat- 
itude for the truly noble, beautiful, and 
womanly manner in which you have used 
that glorious gift of God — your genius— in 
the cause of a helpless and sorely afflicted 
sister, whose claim to your compassion was 
but that of a common humanity and na- 
tionality, that I feel I must send you a few 
lines, if only to disabuse your mind of 
any lingering doubts of my gratitude that 
my silence may have caused to arise. My 
dear mother has, I believe, explained to 
you the almost insurmountable difficulty I 
find in writing to friends abroad, with only 



one letter every two months at my dispo- 
sal, and which I do not feel justified in de- 
priving her of. I can, therefore, only ex- 
press through her from time to time my 
heartfelt thanks for all that has been and is 
still being done in my behalf. I utterly 
despair, however, of finding words that 
shall convey to you even the faintest idea 
of the fulness of a heart completely over- 
whelmed by the sympathy, kindness, and 
generosity of my friends. My feelings of 
love, however, and admiration for you and 
them is simply beyond all power of expres- 

The world may and does bemoan the 
gradual extinction in this generation of 
those finer and nobler traits of character 
which our forefathers so beautifully exem- 
plified ; lays at the door of a higher civili- 
zation the terrible increase of selfishness, 
pride, and indifference to all the higher du- 
ties of Christianity. But, I ask, where can 
a grander exception be found to such ap- 
parent degeneration than that displayed by 
the conduct of those truly noble men and 
women, who, without a thought of self or 

of the trouble involved, have stood forth to 



plead the cause of their countrywoman? 
Could man do more than he is doing? 
Could woman do more for her nearest and 
dearest than the ladies of America are do- 
ing for me ? No ! a thousand times, no I 

Some day, my health and purse permit- 
ting, I shall hope to tell them face to face, 
if mere words can tell, how greatly their 
faithful, unwearying e£Forts, their undaunt- 
ed energy, their sympathy and kindness 
and generosity have helped me to rise 
above the depressing influences of the in- 
justice I am suffering under, to endure pa- 
tiently, to bear bravely the hardships of this 
life, and to feel through all that the hope 
and comfort afforded me by their help is 
but a beautiful example of the way in 
which God answers the prayers of his peo- 

I would now fain beg of you, dear friend, 
to express my deepest and most heartfelt 
gratitude to President Harrison, Mr. Blaine, 
and the other members of the Cabinet. 
Also to all the distinguished gentlemen 
who so generously attached their signatures 
to the splendid petition sent lately from 
Washington to the Hon. Henry Matthews, 



Secretary of State, London, and to assure 
them of my great appreciation of the honor 
and justice they have done me in thus es- 
pousing my cause. Oh, how wretchedly I 
have expressed what I really feel and would 
like to say ! But you, too, have a woman's 
heart, and you can therefore realize the 
feelings I find it so hard to express. It 
would be a still more hopeless task to try 
to tell you what I think of you — noblest 
and truest of women ; that must wait until 
we meet. Until that glad day, believe me. 
Yours gratefully and sincerely, 

Florence E. Maybrick. 

P.S. My next date for receiving letters 
is 19th July. 

To Miss Dodge, 

Washington, D. C, U. S. A. 

A Visit from Lord Russell 

I was sitting in my cell one day feeling 
very weak and ill. I was recovering from 
an attack of influenza, and the cold comfort 



of my surroundings increased the physical 
and mental depression which accompanies 
this complaint. I wondered vaguely why 
my life was spared, why I was permitted to 
suffer this terrible injustice, when my sad 
thoughts were distracted by the sounds of 
approaching voices. I arose from my seat 
— which is a compulsory attitude of sub- 
mission when an authority approaches a 
prisoner— and stood' waiting for I knew 
not what. Presently I heard the tones of 
a voice which I can never forget while 
memory lasts, though that voice is now 
hushed in death; a voice which, through 
the darkest days of my life, ever spoke 
words of trust, comfort, and encourage- 
ment. Surely I must be dreaming, I 
thought, or my mind is growing weak and I 
am becoming fanciful ; for how should this 
voice reach me within these prison walls ? 
I looked up, startled, and once more 
thought my mind was wandering, for there 
stood the noblest, truest friend that woman 
ever had : the champion of the weak and 



the oppressed ; the brave upholder of jus- 
tice and law in the face of prejudice and 
public hostility — Lord Russell of Killow- 
en, Lord Chief Justice of England. He 
stepped into my cell with a kindly smile 
on his face, and sat down on my stool, 
while the governor waited outside. He 
talked to me for half an hour, and I can 
never forget the beauty and grandeur of 
that presence. As he rose to leave he 
turned toward me, and, seeing unshed 
tears in my eyes, he took my hand in his, 
and in his strong, emphatic way said : " Be 
brave, be strong; I believe you to be an 
innocent woman. I have done and will 
continue to do all I can for you." 

It has been denied in England that Lord 
Russell took any interest in me other than 
he might in any client he was paid to de- 
fend ; but the letter which I have already 
given, written to me at Woking, as well 
as various statements made by him, and 
quoted elsewhere, must set that aspersion 

at rest. 


^■' THE 


A Petition for Release 

Denied by the Secretary of State 

1HAD been at Aylesbury about eight 
months when I petitioned the Secre- 
tary of State for a reconsideration of my 
case, with a view to my release. To this I 
received the usual official reply, " Not suffi- 
cient grounds." 

A prisoner may petition the Secretary of 
State every three months. In my opinion, 
the privilege of petitioning on a case 
should be reduced from four times a year 
to once a year, with the provision that if 
anything of importance to a prisoner tran- 
spires within that period it may be duly 
submitted to the Secretary of State on rec- 
ommendation of the governor or director ; 
lo 145 


that all complaints regarding^ focxi, treat- 
ment, or medical attention should be re- 
ferred to the visiting director in the first 
instance, instead of the Secretary of State, 
who under the present system passes it 
back to the directors for the necessary in- 
vestigation. This would do away with the 
continual daily distress and irritation and 
disappointment created in the prison on 
receipt of unfavorable replies from the 
Home Office. A prisoner petitions. A 
private inquiry is held, to which the pris- 
oner is not a party, and of which she has no 
information, nor does she receive any du- 
ring its progress or after its conclusion, 
save that the result, which is nearly always 
negative, is communicated to her. In this 
inquiry any one who is opposed to the 
prisoner may seek to influence the offi- 
cial mind. I will state a case in point. A 
friend asked the Secretary of State for 
the United States, the Hon. John Hay, 
to interest himself in my case. Mr. Hay 
replied that he had been informed by the 



Home Office that I had been " a disobedi- 
ent and troublesome prisoner." 

Report of My Misconduct Refuted 

When I was told this at a visit I had my 
name entered to see the governor. I in- 
sisted that the governor should inform me 
when, and after what breach of the rules, 
such a report had been sent to the Home 
Office. After carefully looking through 
my penal record he could find no entry to 
that effect, and concluded by saying that 
I must have been misinformed. He said 
that my conduct was good, and that he had 
never made any report to the contrary. 
Obviously, therefore, this report from the 
Home Office to Mr. Hay was due to an ad- 
verse influence, of which I have still no 
knowledge. Statements are made against 
a prisoner, of the nature of which she is en- 
tirely ignorant. Being ignorant, she has 
no way of refuting them. Worse still, they 
are retained in the Home Office to her dy- 



ing day, and the unfortunate woman knows 
nothing of them or their eflFect. The only 
thing certain is that she is further con- 

Need of a Court of Criminal Appeal 

The Home Office, while exercising a pri- 
vate function of reconsideration ground- 
ed on the royal prerogative of mercy, em- 
phatically disclaims being a court of appeal 
or a judicial tribunal in any sense of the 
word. Yet the consideration of a convict's 
case rests alone with the Secretary of 
State. It is a matter of unwritten law that 
the Home Secretary shall act individually 
and solely upon his own responsibility, and 
none of his colleagues are to assume or 
take part therein. 

There are numerous instances where 
judges, witnesses, and juries have gone 
wrong. Indeed, it will be found that even 
in cases which have seemed the clearest 
and least complicated in the trial grievous 



mistakes have been made. But in Eng- 
land the blame rests on the public and the 
bar in that no means are provided to set 
the wrong right. What a difference it 
would have made in my life if I had been 
g^ranted a second trial ! I could have called 
other witnesses, submitted fresh evidence, 
and refuted false testimony. Is it not the 
climax of injustice that men and women, if 
sued for money, even for a few shillings, 
can appeal from court to court — even to 
the House of Lords, the English court of 
last resort ; but when character, all that life 
holds dear, and life itself, are in jeopardy, 
a prisoner's fate may depend upon the in- 
competent construction of one man, and 
there is no appeal ? 

A hard-worked Secretary of State, whose 
time, night and day, is crowded with every 
kind of duty, correspondence, and labor, in 
the House of Commons or in the Home 
Office, has to consider a vast number of 
petitions, complaints, and miscarriages of 
justice, or too severe sentences, any one 



of which might require hours and some- 
times days to investigate. He is assisted 
by several officers, but, strange to say, it is 
no part of their qualifications (or that of the 
Home Secretary himself), that they should 
be familiar with the criminal law or the 
prosecution or defense of prisoners. These 
permanent officials are, besides, occupied 
with hundreds of other matters which come 
before the Home Office, on which they 
have to guide their chief. Think of the 
untold sufferings of individuals and fami- 
lies, the shame and degradation which they 
would be spared, if England had a court 
of criminal appeal. 

Historic Examples of British Injustice 

The Home Office detects and corrects a 
larger number of erroneous verdicts than 
the public is aware. This arises from 
the secret and partial methods of reme- 
dying miscarriages of justice frequent- 
ly adopted. The first object is to main- 



tain the public belief in the infallibility of 
judges and juries. If an innocent person 
could slip out quietly, without shaking this 
belief, he might be permitted to do so. 
The Home Secretary is, in fact, a politi- 
cian, who has little time to spare for the 
consideration of criminal cases, and further- 
more must see to it that his conduct does 
not injure his party. Thus he is often de- 
terred from interfering with verdicts and 
sentences by sheer timidity. When he 
affirms a sentence he can throw the greater 
part of the blame on others if he is after- 
ward proved to be wrong ; but when he re- 
verses either verdict or sentence, he must 
take the whole responsibility upon himself. 
This is, I believe, the true explanation of 
the secret and partial reversals which are 
not unusual at the Home Office. The 
Home Secretary, as well as his subordi- 
nates, must frequently let " dare not wait 
upon I would." 

If a crime is committed and no one is 
brought to justice, the police are blamed ; 



but if a person is convicted the police 
are praised, without regard as to whether 
the right person has been convicted. 
Hence there is usually a strong efifort to 
beat up evidence against the person sus- 
pected, as in my case and that of Adolf 
Beck (see page 155), and to keep back any- 
thing in favor of the prisoner that comes 
to the knowledge of the police. When an 
appeal is made from the verdict to the 
Home Secretary, the first step is to consult 
the very judge who is responsible, in nine 
cases out of ten, for the erroneous verdict. 
It is easy to see that, where such reference 
is made, the judge is liable to be biased in 
support of his own rulings. How much 
more the ends of justice would be furthered 
by having the case retried I 

God only knows how many men and 
women have been innocent of the charges 
brought against them, and for which 
they have been unjustly punished. I will 
mention a few only of many cases on 



A man, Hebron by name, was convicted 
at Manchester, of murder. He was sen- 
tenced to death, but fortunately this was 
commuted to penal servitude for life. 
After serving two years the real murderer, 
a man named Peace, was discovered, and 
Hebron was " graciously pardoned." 

Another cruel case was that of John 
Kensall, who was convicted of murder, 
but, through action taken by the late Lord 
Chief Justice Russell, was shown to be 
innocent. The Home Office could not at 
first " see its way to interfere," and had it 
not been for Lord Russell's clear head and 
splendid generalship, by which the authori- 
ties at the Home Office were outwitted, 
he would not have been released so soon. 

The case of the man Hay, wrongly con- 
victed, was of a serious nature, showing 
that he was the victim of a conspiracy; 
yet had it not been for Sir William Har- 
court's instituting an investigation inde- 
pendent of the Home Office, it is very 
doubtful whether Hay would have been 



able to establish his inncx:ence. But he 
did so, and a pardon was granted him. 

It looks almost as if justice in England 
were growing of late more than ordinarily 
blind. Thrice, within three years, has the 
Home Secretary's " pardon " been granted 
to men found to have been wrongfully con- 

The averag'e man takes it for granted 
that these hideous mistakes must, of neces- 
sity, be few and far between ; but the crim- 
inologist knows better. He, at all events, 
is well aware that every year a number of 
innocent people are sentenced to suffer 
either an ignominious death upon the 
scaffold, or the long-drawn-out living death 
of penal servitude. 

Many of these judicial miscarriages nev- 
er come to light at all. Others are pur- 
posely glossed over by the powers that be. 
But occasionally one occurs of so appalling 
a nature that it rivets the attention and 
shocks the conscience of the entire civil- 
ized world, as in the case of Adolf Beck. 



The Case of Adolf Beck 

Adolf Beck was twice convicted for 
crimes committed by a man who somewhat 
resembled him. He served his first sen- 
tence and had been convicted for a second 
crime on " misrepresented identity " when 
his innocence was providentially estab- 
lished. The case is too lengthy for detailed 
account in these pages, and I shall content 
myself in giving the summing-up of Mr. 
George R. Sims in the pamphlet reprinted 
from his presentation of the case in the 
columns of The Daily Mail of London : 

" I have told in plain words the story of 
a foul wrong done to an innocent man. 

" I have proved beyond all question that 
Adolf Beck was in 1896, by the Common 
Sergeant, Sir Forrest Fulton, at the Old 
Bailey, sentenced to seven years' penal ser- 
vitude for being an ex-convict named John 

" I have proved that he was not found 
guilty of being John Smith by the jury. 



" The former conviction for which Mr. 
Adolf Beck was sentenced and punished 
was not only never submitted to the jury, 
but they were warned by the judge that 
they were not to take the issue of Beck 
being Smith into consideration in arriving 
at their verdict. They were to dismiss k 
completely from their minds. 

" I have proved that if this issue had 
been left for the jury to consider they must 
have acquitted Mr. Beck, who showed by 
an indisputable alibi that he could not be 
Smith, the man convicted in 1877. 

" I have proved that this terrible mock- 
ery of justice, the conviction of an inno- 
cent man for a series of crimes that it was 
quite impossible he could have committed, 
was brought about by the action of the 
leading counsel for the Treasury, which 
action was supported by the Common Ser- 
geant, Sir Forrest Fulton. 

" I have proved that the evidence of the 
policeman, Eliss Spurrell, which was used 
at the police-court to assist in getting Beck 
committed for trial, was kept out at the Old 
Bailey, where it would have insured Beck's 



" I have proved that at the poHce-court 
in 1896 Mr. Gurrin, the Treasury expert, 
reported that all the documents connected 
with the 1896 frauds were in the handwrit- 
ing of John Smith of 1877, 

" I have proved that at the 1896 trial at 
the Old Bailey Mr. Gurrin swore that, to 
the best of his belief, all the documents 
were in the disguised handwriting of Mr. 

" I have proved that no one in his senses 
could at the trial have accepted the theory 
that Adolf Beck was John Smith after lis- 
tening to the evidence of Major Lindholm, 
Gentleman of the Chamber to the King of 
Denmark, Col. Josiah Harris, and the Con- 
sul-General for Peru at Liverpool. 

"The Common Sergeant accepted as 
true their evidence of a complete alibi for 
Mr. Beck, so far as 1877 and the years 
Smith was in prison were concerned, or he 
would, it is to be presumed, have taken 
measures to have those gentlemen prose- 
cuted for committing wilful and corrupt 
perjury in order to defeat the ends of jus- 

" I have proved that Beck, after his im- 



prisonment, compelled the Home Office 
authorities to acknowledge that he was not 
Smith, and to admit the physical impos- 
sibility of his being Smith — Smith was 
a Jew, and he, Beck, was not — and that 
therefore, by the evidence of the Treasury 
witnesses, he had been wrongfully com- 

" I have proved that Beck was stripped 
and officially examined for body marks be- 
fore his trial, in order that such marks 
might be compared with those on the rec- 
ord in the possession of the authorities as 
the body marks of John Smith. 

" I have proved that Adolf Beck had 
none of the body marks of John Smith, the 
man in whose handwriting Mr. Gurrin had 
declared the incriminating documents of 
1896 to be. 

" I have proved that all the petitions set- 
ting forth these facts and others, which 
fully established Beck's innocence, met 
with no consideration. 

" I have proved that when the frauds of 
1877 and 1896 were repeated in 1904, and 
the incriminating documents were found 
to be in the handwriting of 1877, stroke for 



stroke, peculiarity for peculiarity, almost 
word for word, the fact that the authorities 
had admitted that Mr. Beck could not be 
the author of the 1877 frauds or the writer 
of the 1877 documents was utterly ignored, 
and the responsible authorities, with every 
proof of Mr. Beck's innocence in their 
possession, allowed him to be arrested, 
charged, tried, and convicted again. 

" I have proved that the identification of 
Mr. Beck by the female witnesses as the 
man who robbed them was a monstrous 

"I have proved that, so far from Mr. 
Beck being the ' double ' of John Smith, he 
was utterly unlike him, except that each 
had a gray mustache. Beck had neither 
the noticeable scar at the point of the jaw 
nor the noticeable wart over one eye that 
are striking marks of identity in John 
Smith — marks which would not escape the 
most casual observer. 

" I have proved that Beck's conviction in 
1896 was secured by a device which was 
utterly unworthy of a British court of jus- 
tice — a device so unfair and unjust that an 
innocent and inoffensive foreigner, a Nor- 


. I 


wegian who had sought the hospitality ol 
our shores, was by its employment sent into 
penal servitude for seven years for the 
crimes of another man. 

" I have proved that Mr. Beck was in 
1904 convicted of repeating letter for letter, 
word for word, trick for trick, check for 
check, false address for false address, false 
name for false name, the frauds of 1877 and 
1896, of which the authorities had absolute 
proof that he was innocent, and of which, 
though they had never remitted one day of 
his sentence, they had admitted that he was 

" I have been careful to keep to the main 
issue, and have refrained from examining 
the side issues, some of which reveal most 
lamentable features in connection with our 
criminal procedure. 

" I will prove one thing more, and leave 
the facts I have established to the judg- 
ment of the public. 

" At the end of the report of the second 

trial of Adolf Beck, which took place at 

the Old Bailey on June 27, 1904 (Sessions 

Paper CXL., Part 837), are these words, 

printed as I give them below: 




GUILTY to a conviction of obtaining 
goods by false pretenses at this Court on 
February 26^ i8g6. fudgment respited^ 

" Pleaded guilty to a former conviction ! 
Adolf Beck pleaded guilty to nothing. 
How could he plead guilty, being an in- 
nocent man! He cried aloud when the 
charge of the first conviction was read 
aloud to him, ' As God is my witness, I 
was innocent then as I am innocent now.' 

" The epilogue to the tragedy of our 
English Dreyfus is written in those damn- 
ing words in the Sessions Paper, the offi- 
cial minutes of evidence in Central Crimi- 
nal Court trials. 

" Beck's last hope had perished. Once 
more a merciless fate had blinded the eyes 
and closed the ears of Justice to his inno- 
cence. He was to be immured in a con- 
vict cell for ten, perhaps for fourteen, 
years ; he was to pass the closing years of 
his life a branded felon amid all the hor- 
rors of a convict prison. In all human 
probability he would die without ever see- 
ing the light of freedom again, for he could 

not have borne this second torture. 
II 161 


" His voice, crying aloud for freedom, 
would be heard no more. Petitions for a 
reinvestigation of his case would be hope- 
less. He had been robbed of his last 
earthly chance of proving his innocence. 

" Those words, ' The prisoner pleaded 
guilty to a former conviction,' would have 
damned him to the last day of his life. 
My painful task is ended. 
A foreigner, a stranger within our gates, 
a man of kindly heart and gentle ways, has 
been foully wronged. There is but one 
reparation we can make him. The people 
of this country owe him a testimonial of 
sympathy that shall endure and remain. 
On the site of his martyrdom there should 
rise a national monument. Let that monu- 
ment take the form of a Court of Criminal 
Appeal. That is the one reparation that 
the English people can make to Adolf 
Beck for the foul wrong he has sufiEered in 
their midst." 

In a sense the innocent man who is 
hanged may be regarded as better off than 
he who is called upon to endure lifelong 
imprisonment. There are plenty of exam- 



pies of these judicial murders. Over a 
score of undoubted cases occurred in the 
first two decades of the last century, and 
since then there have been twice as many 
more. A notorious and awful case was 
that of Eliza Penning, who, at eighteen 
years of age, was sent to the gallows upon 
the perjured evidence of an accomplice of 
the real murderer. The latter afterward 

Another similar case occurred in 1850, 
when a man named Ross was executed for 
poisoning his young wife by mixing arsenic 
with her food. A few years later certain 
facts came to light, proving conclusively 
that the real criminal was a female acquaint- 
ance and confidante of the dead woman. 

Thomas Ferryman, again, was found 
gfuilty in 1879 of the murder of his aged 
mother on the very flimsiest of evidence. 
His sentence was commuted to penal serv- 
itude for life, and in the ordinary course of 
events he should now be free. More than 
100,000 people have, at different times, 



petitioned for the release of this convict, 
and the highest judicial authorities have 
expressed their belief in his entire inno- 
cence of the crime imputed to him. Yet 
he has been compelled to drink his terrible 
cup to the bitter dregs. 

In 1844 a gentleman named Barker was 
sentenced to penal servitude for life for a 
forgery of which he was afterward proved 
to have been wholly innocent. He served 
four years, and was then released and re- 
admitted to practise as an attorney. In 
1859, eleven years after having been "par- 
doned," he was, upon the recommenda- 
tion of a Select Committee of the House 
of Commons, voted a sum of ;^5,ooo, "as a 
national acknowledgment of the wrong he 
had suffered from an erroneous prosecu- 

The famous Edlingham case will doubt- 
less be fresh in the minds of most people. 
In February, 1879, the village vicarage was 
entered by burglars, and a determined at- 
tempt was made to murder the aged in- 



cumbent. For this outrage two men, 
Brannagham and Murphy, were sentenced 
to lifelong imprisonment. After a lapse 
of nine years the crime was confessed to 
by two well-known criminals named Rich- 
ardson and Edgell, the result being that 
the innocent convicts were released, with 
an honorarium of ;^8oo apiece. 

The eminent King's Counsel, Sir George 
Lewis, has openly said that he will not al- 
low himself to speak of the way in which 
the " Edal ji " trial was conducted, and he 
further adds: "I have it on undoubted 
authority that every ' M.P.' connected with 
the legal profession believes as I do that 
that man is innocent. And yet a declara- 
tion from such a source is allowed by the 
public to pass unnoticed. As I have be- 
fore stated, ' it is not the business of the 
public, nor of individual citizens, to prove 
the innocence of any unhappy person 
whom the process of law selects for pun- 
ishment; but it is the business of every 
citizen to see that the courts incontestably 



prove the guilt of any person accused of a 
crime before sentence is passed.' Neither 
condition was fulfilled in the case of the 
prisoner. I have studied the evidence, 
and say, from knowledge gained by fif- 
teen years' association with criminals, that 
this unfortunate young man is innocentr 
Surely after the disclosures of the Adolf 
Beck case this one, on the word of Sir 
George Lewis, ought to receive unbiased 
consideration from the Home Office. 


Religion in Prison Life 

Dedication of New Chapel 

ON our arrival at Aylesbury Prison 
there was no chapel. Divine serv- 
ice was held in one of the halls, in which 
the prisoners assembled each morning for 
twenty minutes of service. This arrange- 
ment had many disadvantages, and one of 
the ladies on the Board of Visitors came 
nobly to our relief with an offer to provide 
the prison with a chapel. The Home 
Office " graciously " accepted this generous 
proposition, and twelve months later it was 
completed and dedicated by the Lord Bish- 
op of Reading. (It was burned to the 
ground since my departure from Ayles- 
On the day preceding the ceremony I 



was asked to assist in decorating the chapel 
with flowers kindly sent by Lady Roth- 
schild. It was a delicate expression of sym- 
pathy for the prisoners, which she repeated 
on all high festival days. She was deeply 
affected when I told her how profoundly 
the women appreciated her recognition of 
a common humanity. 

On the appointed day all work was sus- 
pended to enable the prisoners to be pres- 
ent. In the galleries were seated the fam- 
ilies of the governor, chaplain, and doctor ; 
at the right of the altar the generous donor 
of the chapel, Adeline, Duchess of Bed- 
ford, was seated with her friends. The or- 
ganist played a prelude, and then the bish- 
op, accompanied by the chaplain and the 
clergymen of the diocese, entered the 
chapel. After a hymn had been sung, a 
short service followed, and then the bishop 
stepped forward and, facing the altar, read 
the " dedication service." It was most im- 
pressive. Then followed a prayer and a 
hymn, and the service was over. The pris- 



oners filed back to their respective cells and 
the visitors made the tour of the prison. 

I was a patient in the infirmary at the 
time, but had received permission to attend 
the chapel. Before the Bishop of Reading 
left the prison he visited the sick, and as 
he passed my cell he stopped and spoke to 
me words of hope and encouragement, add- 
ing his blessing. 

Influence of Religion upon Prisoners 

Another occasion on which the Bishop 
of Reading visited the prison was the hold- 
ing of a confirmation service. Many wom- 
en of earnest minds in prison sought in this 
manner to prove the sincerity of their re- 
pentance and their resolution to live godly 
lives; and, with one exception, all those 
confirmed that day have remained true to 
their profession. 

Penal servitude is a fiery test of one's re- 
ligious convictions. One's faith is either 

strengthened and deepened or else it goes 



under altogether. I have witnessed many a 
sad spiritual shipwreck within those walls. 

On a dark, gloomy day in October the 
rain pattered against the window of my cell 
and the wind howled dismally around that 
huge " house of sorrow." Now and then 
the sound of weeping broke upon the still- 
ness, and I prayed in my heart for the poor 
souls in travail whose pains had broken 
through the enforced rule of silence. 
There is no sound in all the world so ut- 
terly unnerving as the hopeless sob of the 
woman in physical isolation who may not 
be spiritually comforted. Separated from 
loved ones, beyond the reach of tender 
hands and voices, she has no one, as in 
former years, to share her sufferings or 
minister to her pain. Alone, one of a 
mass, with no one to care but the good 
God above^ for "to suffer" thus is the 
punishment that man has decreed. 

The humanizing influences, in my opin- 
ion, can be brought to bear upon prison- 
ers with beneficial results only when sup- 



ported by the advantages of religious teach- 
ings. During the early part of my sen- 
tence there were Scripture readers, laymen 
and laywomen, in all convict prisons, to 
assist the chaplain in his arduous duties; 
but, on the ground of expense, these have 
been dispensed with, thus practically re- 
moving the only means of administering 
the moral medicine which is essential to 
the cure of the habitual prisoner's mental 

A large amount of crime is due to 
physical and mental degeneration. Never- 
theless, crime is also the result of love- 
lessness, when it is not a disease, and 
the true curative system should give birth 
to love in human souls. There is not a 
man or woman living so low but we can 
do something to better him or her, if we 
give love and sympathy in the service and 
have an all-embracing a£Fection for both 
God and man. 

If the future system is to treat the crim- 
inal in a curative or reformative way, 



rather than by punitive methods, the means 
to this end must certainly be increased* 
Even the worst woman can be approached 
throuj:h the emotional side of her nature. 
A kind word, a sympathetic look, a smile, 
a little commendation now and then, given 
by the officers in charge, would soon gain 
the respect and confidence of the pris- 
oner, and thereby render her the more 
amenable to rules and regulations. A 
prisoner with whom I worked, and whose 
inner life by near association was re- 
vealed to me, had got into a very morbid, 
depressed state of mind. She was under 
close observation by the doctor's orders. 
Her penal record was net a good one; her 
hasty temper was continually getting her 
into trouble, and when she was punished 
she would brood over it. 

Suicide of a Prisoner 

One day she asked for permission to 

see me; the permission was refused. She 

made the request a second time, and, the 



fact coming to the knowledge of the chap- 
lain, he advised that it be granted, believ- 
ing, from his personal knowledge of my in- 
fluence in the prison, that it would have a 
beneficial effect I was allowed to see her, 
and after a few minutes' conversation she 
appeared brighter. I told her that the peo- 
ple of God have a promise of a Comforter 
from heaven to come to them and abide 
with them, even in tribulation and in pris- 
on. She promised me she would try to be 
more submissive and accept her punish- 
ment in a better spirit. For several days 
after she seemed to improve. But one 
afternoon she once more made the request 
to be allowed to see me. As none of the 
authorities were in the building at the time, 
and the chief matron could not take upon 
herself the responsibility of granting the 
request, it was refused. I felt rather anx- 
ious about it, but was helpless. At five 
o'clock that evening, just before supper 
was served, the woman was found dead in 
her cell ; she had hanged herself to the win- 



dow. She was only twenty-four years of 
age, and was serving a five years* sentence 
for shooting her betrayer under great prov- 
ocation. The tragedy was naturally kept 
quiet; none of the prisoners knew of it 
until the following morning. How the 
truth got abroad I do not know, but when 
the doors were unlocked after breakfast, 
instead of the women passing out of their 
cells in the usual orderly way, they rushed 
out, shouting excitedly at the top of their 

voices : " M has hanged herself ; . . . 

she was driven to it 1 " In vain the officers 
tried to pacify them or to explain the true 
state of things ; they would not listen, and 
continued to scream : " Don't talk to us — 
you are paid to say that ! If you did not 
say that it was all right you would be 
turned out of the gates I " And the uproar 
increased. As I have already stated, the 
" Star Class " was sandwiched between two 
wards of habitual criminals, and we had the 
benefit of every disturbance. During the 
excitement one of the ringleaders caught 



sight of me and shouted : " Mrs. Maybrick, 

is it true that M was driven to it?" 

The tumult was increasing and was grow- 
ing beyond the control of the warder, 
when the chief matron, becoming alarmed, 
sent up word that I might explain to the 
women. Accompanied by an officer, I 
did so, and in a few minutes the uproar 
calmed down and the women returned 
quietly to their cells. I have reason to 
believe that I always had the full confi- 
dence of my fellow prisoners; they were 
quick to know and appreciate that I had 
their welfare at heart, and that I never 
countenanced any disobedience or breach 
of the rules. A first offender, under sen- 
tence for many years, will suffer from the 
punishment according as she maintains or 
damages her self-respect. 

Tragedies in Prison 

Above others there are four tragic prison 
episodes which, once witnessed, can never 
be forgotten: 



1 . Breaking bad news to a prisoner — ^tell- 
ing her that a dear one in the outside world 
is dying, and that she may not go to him ; 
that she must wait in terrible suspense 
until the last message is sent, no communi- 
cation in the mean time being permitted. 

2. Receiving an intimation of the death 
of a beloved father, mother, brother or sis- 
ter, husband or child, whose visits and let- 
ters have been the sole comfort and sup- 
port of that prisoner's hard lot. 

3. The loss of reason by a prisoner who 
was not strong enough to endure the pun- 
ishment decreed by Act of Parliament. 

4. The suicide, who prefers to trust to 
the mercy of God rather than suffer at the 
hands of man. 

Why should a woman be considered less 
loving, less capable of sufiFering, because 
she is branded with the name of " convict ?" 
She may be informed that her nearest and 
dearest are dying, but the rules will permit 
no departure to relieve the heart-breaking 
suspense. In the world at large telegnuns 



may be sent and daily bulletins received, 
but not in the convict's world. 

Death is a solemn event under any cir- 
cumstances, and reverence for the dead is 
inculcated by our religion, but to die in 
prison is a thing that every inmate dreads 
with inexpressible horror. When a pris- 
oner is at the point of death, she is put into 
a cell alone, or into a ward, if there is one 
vacant. There she lies alone. The nurse 
and infirmary officers come and go; her 
fellow prisoners gladly minister to her ; the 
doctor and chaplain are assiduous in their 
attentions; but she is nevertheless alone, 
cut off from her kin, tended by the servants 
of the law instead of the servants of love, 
and it is only at the very last that her loved 
ones may come and say their farewell. Oh ! 
the pathos, the anguish of such partings — 
who shall describe them ? And when all is 
over, and the law has no longer any power 
over the body it has tortured, it may be 
claimed and taken away. 

The case of the prisoner who becomes 
12 177 


insane is no less harrowing. She is kept 
in the infirmary with the other patients for 
three months. • If she does not recover her 
reason within that period, she is certified 
by three doctors as insane and then re- 
moved to the criminal lunatic asylum. In 
the mean time the peace and rest of the 
other sick persons in the infirmary are dis- 
turbed by her ravings, and their feelings 
wrought upon by the daily sight of a de- 
mented fellow creature. 

And the suicide! To see the ghastly 
and distorted features of a fellow prisoner, 
with whom one has worked and suffered, 
killed by her own hands — ^such scenes as 
these haunted me for weeks ; and it needed 
all my reliance on God to throw off the de- 
pression that inevitably followed. 

Moral Effect of Harsh Prison Regime 

Have you ever tried to realize what kind 
of life that must be in which the sight of a 
child's face and the sound of a child's voice 



are ever absent ; in which there are none 
of the sweet influences of the home ; the 
daily intercourse with those we love; the 
many trifling little happenings, so unim- 
portant in themselves, but which go so far 
to make up the sum of human happiness ? 
It commences with the clangor of bells and 
the jingling of keys, and closes with the 
banging of hundreds of doors, while the 
after silence is broken only by shrieks and 
blasphemies, the trampling of many feet, 
and the orders of warders. 

In the winter the prisoners get up in the 
dark, and breakfast in the dark, to save 
the expense of gas. The sense of touch 
becomes very acute, as so much has to be 
done without light. Until I had served 
three years of my sentence I had not been 
allowed to see my own face. Then a look- 
ing-glass, three inches long, was placed in 
my cell. I have often wondered how this 
deprivation , could be harmonized with a 
purpose to enforce tidiness or cleanliness 
in a prisoner. The obvious object in de- 



priving prisoners of the only means through 
which they can reasonably be expected to 
conform to the official standard of facial 
cleanliness is to eradicate woman's assumed 
innate sense of vanity ; but whether or no 
it succeeds in this, certain it is that cleanli- 
ness becomes a result of compulsion rather 
than of a natural womanly impulse. Also 
she must maintain the cleanliness of her 
prison cell on an ounce of soap per week. 
After I left Aylesbury I heard that the stew- 
ard had received orders from the Home 
Office to reduce this enormous quantity. 
If true it will leave the unfortunate prison- 
ers with three-quarters of an ounce of soap 
weekly wherewith to maintain that cleanli- 
ness which is said to be next to godliness. 
The prisoners are allowed a hot bath once 
a week, but in the interval they may not 
have a drop of hot water, except by the 
doctor's orders. 



Attacks of Levity 

All human instincts can not be crushed, 
even by an act of Parliament, and sometimes 
the prisoners indulge in a flight of levity, 
which is, however, promptly stopped by the 
officer in charge. But even wilfulness and 
levity are to some a relief from the perpet- 
ual silence. A young girl, fifteen years of 
age, came in on a conviction of penal serv- 
itude for life. In a fit of passion she had 
strangled a child of which she had charge. 
In consideration of her youth and the med- 
ical evidence adduced at her trial, sentence 
of death was commuted. She was in the 
" Star Class," and it aroused my indignation 
to witness her sufferings. A mature woman 
may submit to the inevitable patiently, as an 
act of faith or as a proof of her philosophy ; 
but a child of that age has neither faith nor 
philosophy sufficient to support her against 
this repressive system of torture. At times, 
however, the girl had attacks of levity which 
manifested themselves in most amusing 



ways. One day she was put out to work 
in the officers' quarters and told to black- 
lead a grate. With a serious face she set to 
work. Presently the officer asked whether 
she had finished her task, to which she 
meekly replied "Yes," at the same time 
lifting her face, which, to the utter amaze- 
ment of the female warder, had been trans- 
formed from a white to a brightly polished 
black one. 

On another occasion she was told that 
she would be wanted in the infirmary. 
She was suffering great pain at the time, 
and had begged the doctor to extract a 
tooth. When the infirmary nurse un- 
locked her door she was found in bed. 
This is strictly against the rules, unless the 
prisoner has special permission from the 
doctor to lie down during the day. Of 
course, the officer ordered her to get up 
at once, to which she replied, " I can't." 
" Why not? " asked the officer. " Because 
I can't," the girl repeated. Whereupon 
the officer lifted o£E the bed covering to see 



what was amiss. To her astonishment she 
saw that the child had got inside the mat- 
tress (which I described in the beginning 
as a long sack stuffed with the fiber of the 
coconut), and had drawn the end of it on 
a string around her neck, so that nothing 
but her head was visible. 

It has been said that no apples are so 
sweet as those that are stolen, and the 
great pleasure the women in prison derive 
from their surreptitious levity is because it 
can so rarely be indulged in, and the oppor- 
tunities for its expression must always be 

There is an axiom in prison, " The worse 
the woman, the better the prisoner." As 
one goes about the prison, and observes 
those women who are permitted little privi- 
leged tasks, such as tidying the garden, 
cleaning the chapel, or any of the light and 
semi-responsible tasks which convicts like, 
one will notice the privileged are not, as a 
rule, the young or respectably brought 
up, but old, professional criminals. They 



know the rules of the prison, they spend 
the greater part of their lives there, and 
they know exactly how to behave so as to 
earn the maximum of marks ; their object 
is to get out in the shortest possible time, 
and to have as light work as possible while 
they are in. The officers like them be- 
cause they know their work without hav- 
ing to be taught, "There is no servant 
like an old thief," I have heard it said. 
" They do good work/* This is quite typi- 
cal of a certain kind of prisoner who is the 
mainstay of the prisons. 

The conviction of young girls to penal 
servitude is shocking, for it destroys the 
chief power of prevention that prisons are 
supposed to possess, and accustoms the 
young criminal to a reality which has far 
less terror for her than the idea of it had. 
Prison life is entirely demoralizing to any 
girl under twenty years of age, and it is to 
prevent such demoralizing influence upon 
young girls that some more humane sys- 
tem of punishment should be enacted, 




In saying a word on what is, perhaps, 
best described as "prison self -discipline," 
I trust the reader will acquit me of any mo- 
tive other than a desire that it may result 
in some sister in misfortune deriving bene- 
fit from a similar course. That the state 
of mind in which one enters upon the life 
of a convict has some influence on conduct 
— whether she does so with a conscious- 
ness of innocence or otherwise — should, 
perhaps, go without saying. Nevertheless, 
innocent or guilty, a proper self-respect can 
not fail to be helpful, be the circumstances 
what they may; and from the moment I 
crossed Woking's grim threshold until the 
last day when I passed from the shadow 
and the gloom of Aylesbury into God's free 
sunlight, I adhered strictly to a determina- 
tion that I would come out of the ordeal — 
if ever— precisely as I had entered upon it ; 
that no loving eyes of mother or friends 
should detect in my habits, manners, or 



modes of thought or expression the slight- 
est deterioration. 

Accordingly I set about from the very 
start to busy myself — and this was no small 
helpfulness in filling the dreary hours of 
the seemingly endless days of solitary conr 
finement— keeping my cell in order and 
ever making the most of such scant mate- 
rial for adornment as the rules permitted. 
Little enough in this way, it may be imag- 
ined, falls to a convict's lot. Indeed, the 
sad admission is forced that nearly every 
semblance of refinement is maintained at 
one's peril, for "motives" receive small 
consideration in the interpretation of pris- 
on rules, however portentously they may 
have loomed in the process that placed an 
innocent woman under the shadow of the 
scaflFold, and only by grace of a commuta- 
tion turned her into a " life " convict. 

Come what would, I was determined not 
to lose my hold on the amenities of my 
former social position, and, though I had 
only a wooden stool and table, they were 



always spotless, my floor was ever brightly 
polished, while my tin pannikins went far 
to foster the delusion that I was in posses- 
sion of a service of silver. 

Confinement in a cell is naturally produc- 
tive of slothful habits and indifference to 
personal appearance. I felt it would be a 
humiliation to have it assumed that I could 
or would deteriorate because of my envi- 
ronment. I therefore made it a point never 
to yield to that feeling of indifference 
which is the almost universal outcome of 
prison life. I soon found that this self-im- 
posed regimen acted as a wholesome moral 
tonic, and so, instead of falling under the 
naturally baneful influences of my sur- 
roundings, I strove, with ever- renewed 
spiritual strength, to rise above them. At 
first the difference that marked me from 
so many of my fellow prisoners aroused in 
them something like a feeling of resent- 
ment ; but when they came to know me 
this soon wore off, and I have reason to 
believe that my example of unvarjring neat- 



ness and civility did not fail in influen- 
cing others to look a bit more after their 
personal appearance and to modify their 
speech. At any rate, it had this effect: 
Aylesbury Prison is the training-school for 
female warders for all county prisons. 
Having served a month's probation here, 
they are recommended, if efficient in en- 
forcing the prison "discipline," for trans- 
ference to analogous establishments in the 
counties. It happened not infrequently, 
therefore, that new-comers were taken to 
my cell as the model on which all others 
should be patterned. 

I partook of my meals, coarse and unap- 
petizing as the food might be, after the 
manner I had been wont in the dining- 
room of my own home ; and, though un- 
seen, I never permitted myself to use my 
fingers (as most prisoners invariably did) 
where a knife, fork, or spoon would be 
demanded by good manners. Neither did 
I permit myself, either at table (though 
alone) or elsewhere, to fall into slouchy at- 



titudes, even when, because of sickness, it 
was nearly impossible for me to hold up 
my head. 

I speak of this because of the almost uni- 
versal tendency among prisoners to mere 
animality. " What matters it? " is the gen- 
eral retort. Accordingly, the average con- 
vict keeps herself no cleaner than the dis- 
cipline strenuously exacts, while all their 
attitudes express hopeless indifference, cal- 
lous carelessness, to a degree that often 
lowers them to the behavior of the brutes 
of the field. The repressive system can 
neither reform nor raise the nature or hab- 
its of prisoners. 

Need of Women Doctors and 

Women doctors and inspectors should 
be appointed in all female prisons. Other- 
wise what can be expected of a woman of 
small mental resources, shut in on herself, 
often unable to read or write with any 
readiness ; of bad habits ; with a craving for 



low excitement ; whose chief pleasure has 
been in the grosser kind of animal delight ? 
The mind turns morbidly inward; the 
nerves are shattered. Although the dark 
cell is no longer used, mental light is still 
excluded. Recidivation is more frequent 
with women than with men. The jail 
taint seems to sink deeper into woman's 
nature, and at Aylesbury numbers of the 
more abandoned ones are seldom for long 
out of the male warders' hands. 

Chastening Effect of Imprisonment on 

THE Spirit 

For a considerable period I was given 
work in the officers' mess. Their quarters 
are in a detached building within the prison 
precincts, and are reached by crossing a 
small grass-plot which separates it from the 
prison. Each officer has a small bedroom, 
in which she sleeps and passes her time 
when off duty. All meals are served in 
the mess-room, and consist of breakfast at 



seven o'clcx:k, lunch on turn between nine 
and eleven, dinner at twelve-thirty, tea at 
five, and supper whenever they are off 
duty. The cooking is excellent and varied. 
A matron is in charge of the commissariat 
department, and has four prisoners of the 
"Star Class" working under her. I did 
scullery work, which consisted of washing 
up all the crockery, glass, knives, forks, 
and spoons used at these five meals, be- 
sides all the pots and pans required in their 
preparation. As a staff of twenty-five sat 
down to these frequent meals daily, the 
work was very hard and quite beyond my 
strength. The "Star Class" of workers 
should not be kept at it more than six 
months at a time. Some of the life women 
have been in the kitchen and mess-room as 
long as three and four years, and, as neither 
the culinary arrangements nor the ventila- 
tion are modem, the consequent physical 
and mental depression arising from these 
defects, and the monotony of the work, is 
only too apparent. 



I was not feeling well at the time, and 
soon after I had a long illness — a nervous 
breakdown, due partly to insomnia and 
partly to the unrelieved strain and stress 
of years of hard labor. My recovery was 
very slow. I was in the infirmary about 
eighteen months^ and was glad when final- 
ly discharged, as the intervals between 
my letters and visits were shorter when 
I was in discipline quarters and could 
earn more marks. During the long years 
of my imprisonment I learned many les- 
sons I needed, perhaps, to have learned 
during my earlier life ; but, thank God, I 
was no criminal! I was being punished 
for that of which I was innocent. I be- 
lieve it is God's task to judge and ours to 
endure, but I could not understand what 
his plans and his purposes were^ I be- 
lieved they were good, although I could 
not see how eternity itself could make up 
for my sufferings. Perhaps they were in- 
tended to Work out some good to others^ 

by ways I should never know, until I saw 



with the clear eyes of another world. Still, 
the external conditions of life acted on my 
body and mind, and I scarcely knew at 
times how to bear them. I could not have 
endured them without God's sustaining 
grace. I used often to repeat these lines : 

^ WitJi patience, then, the course of duty run ; 
God never does nor suffers to be done 
But that which you Would do if you could see 
The end of ^U ^vettU as well as h^.** 

A Death-bed Incident 

A woman lay dying in a near-by cell. 
Of th€ sixty years of hef life she had spent 
forty within pvisOn walls* What that life 

had been I will not say, but when she was 
in the agony of death dhe called to me ! ** I 
don*t know anything about youf God, but 
if he had made you tended and loving to a 
bad lot likig me, I know he will not be hard 
on a poor soul who never had a chance. 
Give me a kids, dear lass, before I go. No 
one ha» kissed nae since my mother died." 
13 «93 

My Last Years in Prison 

I AM Set to Work in the Library 

WHEN I recovered from my nervous 
breakdown, by medical order I 
was given lighter employment, and went 
into the library. I was now the only pris- 
oner in the building who had suflFered un- 
der the hardships of the old system at 
Woking Prison, all the rest of those who 
came with me having in the interim re- 
turned to the world. In fact, I was the 
only one who had served over ten years. 

My task in the library was to assist the 
schoolmistress and to change the library 
books twice a week. They were carried 
from cell to cell, and this represented the 
handling of over two hundred and fifty 
books. In addition to this, I had to be 



"literary nurse," whose duties were to at- 
tend to worn-out books, binding up their 
wounds and prolonging their days of use- 
fulness ; doing cataloguing and entry work ; 
to print the name of each prisoner on a 
card placed over her cell door; to copy 
hymns, and to make scrap-books for the 
illiterate prisoners, besides other miscella- 
neous duties. 

The library was a very good one and 
contained not only the latest novels, but 
philosophical works and books for study ; 
also a limited number in French and 
German. To these were added religious 
works, especially poetry, and sermons for 
Sunday reading. I found a choice collec- 
tion to help me support the Sabbath day, 
for the suspended animation makes a day of 
misery of the " day of rest." One could not 
read all day without tiring, and the absence 
of week-day work usually made it a day of 
heavy, creeping depression. There are two 
periods of exercise, and chapel morning and 
afternoon. The remainder of the time the 


. I 


prisoners are locked in their cells. Read- 
ing was my only solace ; from first to last I 
read every moment that I could call my 
own. The best index of the quality of the 
books was that every volume was read or 
examined by the chaplain and his staff be^ 
fore it was admitted to the library. If it 
contained any articles on prison life or 
matters relating to prisoners, these were 
always carefully cut out. 

From my observations I consider that 
prison schoolmasters and schoolmistresses 
are overburdened with miscellaneous and 
incompatible duties. No one needs to be 
told that the average prisoner is a slow 
learner, and that even a dull boy or girl is 
a better pupil than a grown man or woman 
plodding along in the first steps of knowl- 
edge, and who is taught, not in a class, but 
in a cell. Yet the schoolmaster or school- 
mistress has to devote hours daily to teach- 
ing, to help in letter-writing, in the office 
work, in the distribution of library books, 
in the library work; and now that their 



number is likewise reduced on the ground 
of expense, the pressure of their work is 
out of all proportion to the hours within 
which it can be reasonably performed. 

I have always been fond of reading, and 
during my leisure hours I got through a 
large number of books. This was between 
noon and half-past one, and seven and 
eight in the evening, when my light had to 
be put out. 

Newspapers Forbidden 

The rules forbid that any public news be 
conveyed to the prisoners, either at visits 
or by letters. This seems to be a very 
short-sighted view to take of the matter. 
To allow newspapers in the prison might, 
of course, lead to cipher communications 
to prisoners from their friends; but no 
harm can possibly come of allowing infor- 
mation regarding public affairs of national 
interest to be conveyed through the legiti- 
mate channels of letters and visits. It 
would give the prisoners fresh food for 



thought, and tend greatly to relieve that 
vacuity of mind which is the outcome of 
lack of knowledge of external things, and 
of the monotony of their lives; it would 
also make a pause in their broodings over 
their cases, which is the sole subject of 
their thoughts and conversations when per- 
mitted to converse at all. 

How Prisoners Learn of Great 


The lowering of the prison flag told us 
of the death of Queen Victoria, although 
we had heard several days before that she 
was sinking. When King Edward was 
dangerously ill it was talked of among the 
officers, and the prisoners, through me, 
asked that special prayers might be said in 
the chapel. 

When Mafeking was relieved and when 
peace with the Boers was declared, flags 
were hoisted. Jubilee and Coronation 
days were the only occasions I remember 



when we had any relaxation of prison rules, 
and then there was much disappointment, 
since in lieu of a mitigation of our sen- 
tences, as was the case in India, they gave 
us extra meat and plum pudding. 

Strict Discipline of Prison Officers 

I have served under three governors, 
each of whom was an intelligent and con- 
spicuously humane man. They knew their 
prisoners and tried to understand them, 
but there is not much a governor can do 
for them of his own initiative. I consider 
that he who holds this responsible position 
should have more of a free hand, and be 
allowed to use his discretion in all ordi- 
nary matters pertaining to the prison dis- 
cipline and welfare of the prisoners. 

They were all advanced disciplinarians. 
The routine reeled itself off with mechani- 
cal precision. The rules were enforced and 
carried out to the letter. The deadly mo- 
notony never varied; all days are alike; 



weeks, months, years slowly accumulate, 
and, in th^ mean time, the mental rust is 
eating into the weary brain, and the out- 
spoken cry rises up daily—" How long, O 
Lord ! how long ?" 
The officers are almost as keen as the 

governor in their efforts to keep things up 

to the mark. It is seldom they allow pris- 
oners under their observation or supervi- 
sion any slight relaxation which nature may 
demand, but the rules forbid. They dislike 
to punish a woman, and in their hearts 
make many excuses for the black sheep. 

Their High Character 

As a class, with few exceptions, the pris- 
on staff is worthy of respect and confi- 
dence, and might be trusted with any task. 
The patience, civility, and self-control 
which the officers exhibit under the most 
trying circumstances, as a rule, mark them 
as men and women possessing a high sense 
of duty, not only as civil servants, but as 



Nervous Strain of Their Duties 

The hours of work are long, the nervous 
strain is incessant. I could wish that those 
in high places showed a little more appre- 
ciation of what these faithful servants do, 
and were not so sparing of their praise and 
commendation. The small remuneration 
they receive can not make up for the depri-. 
vatiqn of the amenities of life which the 
prison service entails. Two writers on 
prison life have expressed themselves in 
widely different ways regarding the ward- 
ers and officers. One writer compares 
them to slave- and cattle-drivers ; another 
expreiises surprise that they are as good as 
they are. As, I trust, an impartial ob- 
server, I agree with the latter opinion. 

Experience has taught mQ thati in most 

cases, if the prisoner is amiable and willing, 
the officer on her part is ready to meet the 
prisoner fully half way — at all events, as far 
as circumstances and duty will permit, for 
the continual daily changes of duty, from 



ward to ward and hall to hall, make it 
nearly impossible for any officer to acquire 
a true knowledge of the character of those 
under her charge. 

It would be interesting if a trained psy- 
chologist could watch and report upon the 
insidious effect of the repressive rules and 
regulations of a prison on the more im- 
pressionable officers and prisoners. When 
such officers first enter this service they are 
natural women with a natural demeanor 
and expression of countenance. After a 
time, however, the molding effects of 
" standing orders " become apparent in the 
sternness of their expression, the harsh 
tones of their voices, and the abruptness 
of their manner. 

Standing Orders for Warders 

These " standing orders " may be para- 
phrased as follows : 

" You must not do this or say that, or 
look sympathetic or friendly, or converse 



with prisoners in any way. You must 
always suspect them of wishing to do some- 
thing underhand, sly, and contrary to or- 
ders. You must never let them for a mo- 
ment out of your sight, or permit ' them to 
suppose that you have either trust or con- 
fidence in them. It is your duty to see 
that the means of punishment devised by 
the Penal Code are faithfully carried out. 
You are not to trouble yourself about the 
result upon the prisoner — that is the affair 
of the Government." 

Any familiarity on the part of an officer 
with a prisoner is strictly forbidden by the 
rules of prison service, and the slightest 
manifestation of the sort would entail se- 
rious punishrnent on the officer. Surely 
this is not as it should be ; on the contrary, 
greater discretionary power should be per- 
mitted to officers in their relations with 
prisoners, for the influence for good which 
a kind, well-disposed officer could exert 
upon a prisoner is incalculable. But all 
this possible influence for good is denied 



expression by the spirit of mistrust and 
suspicion which pervades the entire prison 
administration. This is one of the most 
regrettable features of the system. No offi- 
cer is trusted by her superior, and no pris- 
oner, however exemplary her conduct, may 
be trusted by any one officially connected 
with the institution. 

An officer who commits a breach of any 
rule laid down for her may be fined a sum 
varying from one to ten shillings, and if 
the offense is a grave one she may be dis- 

Crime a Mental Disease 

When will those connected with prisons 
awake to the fact that the criminal is men- 
tally diseased ? Ninety-nine out of a hun- 
dred criminals, when not such by accident, 
through poverty, or environment, come to 
their lot through inherited, malformed 
brains. It ought to be the sacred duty of 
earnest men to deal kindly, intelligently, 
and patiently with them. The prison, 



which is now a dreadful place of punish- 
ment and humiliation, ought to be made a 
home of regeneration and reformation, in 
which intelligent effort is made to raise the 
prisoner to a higher level ; and this surely 
is not done by withdrawing all the refining 

I hope the time is not far off when men 
and women will take more of a heart in- 
terest in prisoners, and when, no matter 
how low they may have sunk, an opportu- 
nity to live honestly will be given them 
on their release ; when the society against 
which they have sinned will treat them so 
kindly that for very shame they will seek 
to do better, and repentance shall enter 
into the most darkened soul. The "eye 
for an eye and tooth for a tooth" doc- 
trine is not a part of the Christian dispen- 
sation. Our Lord Jesus Christ gave his 
last supreme lesson, as he turned toward 
the thief at his side on the cross, and there 
put an end to that old law forever. 


^ I 


Something Good in the Worst 


There is some good to be found in the 
worst criminal, which, if nourished by pa- 
tience and sympathy, will grow into more 
good. I speak from a large, intimate per- 
sonal experience, for during my imprison- 
ment it was my happy fortune to evoke 
kindly reciprocations from some of the 
worst and most degraded characters. I 
will cite an instance. 

One day I was crossing the hall when a 
fight occurred. I can not describe it — it 
was too horrible. The crowd surged to- 
ward me, and I was being drawn in among 
the combatants, when one of them, catching 
sight of me, stepped out with a face stream- 
ing with blood, and pushed me into an open 
cell, closing the door after me. When I 
thanked her the next day she replied : 

" Why, bless your heart, Mrs. Maybrick, 
did you think I would let them hurt a hair 
of your head ? '* 



I believe I had the sympathy and respect 
of all my fellow prisoners, and when I left 
Aylesbury, my feelings were those of min- 
gled relief and regret. I could not but feel 
attached to those with whom I had lived 
and suffered and worked for so many 
weary years. I knew, perhaps, more of 
the life history of these poor women, their 
inner thoughts and feelings, than any one 
else in the prison. In suffering, in sympa- 
thy, in pity, we were all akin. In the asso- 
ciation hour they would bring me their let- 
ters from home to read, and show me the 
photographs of their children or other dear 
ones, while tears would course down their 
cheeks at the memory of happier days. 

Need of Further Prison Reform 

Many opinions have been written regard- 
ing prisons, but with few exceptions they 
are the observations of outsiders, which 
means, they must of necessity be to a cer- 
tain extent superficial. 



I have touched only k few spots of the 
gbelat dis^as6d system of prifeoti manage- 
ment, but what public opinion did to atn6- 
liortite past ibuees^ public opinion can still 
do tb im|)it)ve the treatment of tOKiay's 
criminal. A little over a hundred years 
^o there were thirty^four offenses in Eng^ 
land punishable by capital punishment. 
ToKiay there is only ohei Gharle* Dick- 
ens did more than any agency toward io 
ing away with inipfisonment for debt^ yet 
last yedr there wtefe no iesil than eleven 
thousand (Prisoner* in <l:onfint^ment ixyt 
debt in English ^risonsw How many of 
the«ie havte since joined die tanks of the 
criminals through loss of sel^respect? 
What has been the effect upon their wives 
and families ? Why is a man imprisoned 
for debt? Certainly not to enable bim to 
pay it. H^ can earti nothing while in |>ris- 
on^ where he is supported at the expense 
of the state ; and if he has a wife or fatnily^ 
they either become dependent on the rates, 
or incur debts which he will have to pay 



on his release. Again, he may not im- 
probably lose his emplo5mient, and have to 
look out for another when liberated, and 
his imprisonment does not make it more 
easy, either to procure work or to per- 
form it efficiently. The ground of impris- 
onment is dishonesty. But is not actual 
dishonesty sufficiently met by the criminal 
law? In what sense is the debtor dishon- 
est ? Is it meant that he has money in his 
pocket and refuses to pay his debts? Is 
it not rather that he ought to have had 
money? It is proved perhaps that he is 
earning so much per week, possibly, but 
how long had he been earning and how 
long was he out of employment before 
that? Has he had sickness? There have 
been many instances where a man was 
in the hospital when the committal order 
was made, and was seized and carried 
oflF to prison immediately on discharge. 
If non-payment of a debt is not a crime, 
why is he in prison for it ? If it is a crime, 
why has he not the benefit of a trial by 
14 209 


jury on the ability or inability of paying 
his debts? And why should not the 
Home Oflfice or other appellate tribunal 
have the power of revising his sentence? 
If the debtor has goods that can be seized, 
let them be seized ; if there is money com- 
ing to him, let the creditor attach it ; if it 
comes within the scope of the bankruptcy 
law, let him be adjudicated and examined 
on oath to every shilling that he has re- 
ceived or spent. But why, in the name of 
justice and humanity, treat him as a crimi- 
nal, prevent him from earning his bread, 
and make him an incumbrance on the State, 
exposing his wife and daughter to ruin, de- 
grading him, lowering his self-respect, and 
subjecting him to the taint of the prison 
atmosphere, without satisfactory evidence 
of his ability to pay at the time of com- 
mittal? Several prisoners that I came in 
contact with were made criminals because 
their husbands had left their families des- 
titute because imprisoned for debt. 



My Release 

I Learn the Time When My Sentence 

Will Terminate 

AFTER I had been incarcerated for a 
few years I found out that it was 
usual in the case of a life convict who has 
earned good marks to have her sentence 
brought up for consideration after she has 
served fifteen years. A life sentence usu- 
ally means twenty years, and three months 
is taken off each year as a reward for good 
conduct. In February, 1903, I was defi- 
nitely informed that my case would follow 
the ordinary course. I have been accused 
of obtaining my release by " trickery," but 
these facts speak for themselves. 

The impression has also been given by 
the press that great leniency was shown in 



my case, and that through the intervention 
of friends the Home Office released me 
before the expiration of my sentence. No 
exceptional leniency whatever was shown 
in my case. It depends upon the prisoner 
herself whether she is released at an earlier 
period or serves the full term of her sen- 
tence. By an unbroken record of good con- 
duct I reduced my life sentence, which is 
twenty years, to fifteen years ; this expired 
on the 25th of July, 1904. 

The Dawn of Liberty 

As a giant refreshed by sleep, the prison 
awakens to life, and the voices of officers, 
the clang of doors, the ringing of bells 
echo throughout the halls. What does it 
portend ? Is it the arrival of some distin- 
guished visitor from the Home Office? 
Then I hear the sound of approaching foot- 
steps, as they come nearer and nearer and 
then stop at my cell door. The governor 
ushers in three gentlemen — one tall and 



dark and handsome, but with a stern face ; 
another short, with a white beard and blue 
eyes which looked at me somewhat coldly ; 
of the third I have no distinct recollection. 
The tall gentleman conversed pleasantly 
for several minutes about my work and 
myself, then passed out on his tour of in- 
spection. I did not know at the time who 
these visitors were, but learned later that 
the gentleman who spoke to me was the 
Secretary of State, Sir Matthew White- 
Ridley; one of his companions was Sir 
Kenelm Digby, and the other Sir Evelyn 
Ruggles-Brise, the chairman of the Prison 
Committee, who takes a really humane in- 
terest in the welfare of the convicts. 

One morning, a week later, I was sum- 
moned to appear before the governor. It 
is an ordeal to be dreaded by any one who 
has broken the rules, but I knew I had not, 
and therefore concluded that I was wanted 
in connection with my work. When I en- 
tered the office he looked up with a kindly 
smile, which was also reflected in the face 


^ I 


of the chief matron. My attention was ar- 
rested. I stood silently waiting for him to 
speak. After searching among some pa- 
pers on the table, he picked up one . and 
read something to the following eflFect: 
"The prisoner, P 29, Florence E. May- 
brick, is to be informed that the Secretary 
of State has decided to grant her discharge 
from prison when she has completed fifteen 
years of her sentence, conditional upon her 

For a moment I failed to grasp the full 
meaning of these words, but when I did — 
how shall I describe the mingled feelings 
of joy and thankfulness, of relief and hope, 
with which I was overwhelmed! I re- 
turned to my cell dazed by the unexpected 
message for which for so many long, weary 
years I had hoped and prayed. 

How anxiously I waited for those last 
few months to pass I 



The Release 

It was Christmas Eve of IQOS^ I had 
helped to decorate the chapel with ever- 
greens, which is the only way in which the 
greatest festival of the church's year is kept 
in prison. There is no rejoicing allowed 
prisoners; no festival meal of roast beef 
and plum pudding, only the usual prison 
diet; and the sad memories of happier 
days are emphasized by our bare cells with 
their maximum of cleanliness and mini- 
mum of comfort. But to me it was the 
last Christmas in that "house of sorrow," 
and my heart felt the dawning of a brighter 
day. Only four weeks more and I would 
have passed out of its grim gates forever I 
How I counted those days, and yet how I 
shrank from going once more into the 
world that had been so cruel, so hostile, so 
unmerciful, in spite of the fact that there 
was no proof that I was the guilty woman 
they assumed me to be I But kind friends 



and loving hearts were waiting to greet me, 
to give me refuge and comfort. *" 

On Saturday, the 23d of January, my 
mother visited me at Aylesbury Prison for 
the last time. How many weary and sad 
hours we had passed in that visiting-room ! 
Our hearts were too full for much conver- 
sation, and it was with broken voices that 
we discussed the arrangements made for 
my departure on the following Monday. 

The last Sunday I spent in prison I felt 
like one in a dream. I could not realize 
that to-morrow, the glad to-morrow, would 
bring with it freedom and life. In the 
evening I was sent for to say " Good-by " 
to the governor. Besides the chief matron 
and the one who was to be my escort to 
Truro, no one was aware of the day or 
hour of my departure from Aylesbury. 
Not a word had been said to the other 
prisoners. I should like to have said fare- 
well to them, also to the officers whom I 
had known for fourteen years (for several 
had come with us from Woking Prison); 




^5tor, Lenox and TWden^ 


but I thought it best to pass into my new 
life as quietly as possible* At my earnest 
request the Home Office consented to al- 
low my place of destination to be kept a 
secret. I felt that I should derive more 
benefit from the change of my new environ- 
ment and association with others, if my 
identity and place of retreat were not 
known to the public. 

On Monday, the 25th of January, I was 
awakened early, and after laying aside, for 
the last time, the garments of shame and 
disgrace, I was clothed once more in those 
that represent civilization and respectabil- 
ity. I descended to the court below, and, 
accompanied by the chief matron and my 
escort, passed silently through the great 
gates and out of the prison. At half-past 
six a cab drove quietly up, and the matron 
and I silently stepped in and were driven 
away to the Aylesbury Station. On our 
arrival in London we proceeded at once to 
Paddington Station. The noise and the 
crowds of people everywhere bewildered me. 



In Retreat at Truro 

After an uneventful journey we arrived 
at Truro at six p.m., and drove at once to 
the Home of the Community of the Epiph- 
any, where I stayed during the remainder 
of my term of six months. I am told that 
some comment has been made on the fact 
that the Home was a religious retreat, and 
that I ought to have been sent to a secular 
one instead. I went there entirely of my 
own desire. On our arrival there I bade a 
last farewell to my kind companion — one 
of the sweetest women it has been my priv- 
ilege to meet. The Mother Superior, who 
had visited me three months previously at 
Aylesbury Prison, received me tenderly, 
and at once conducted me to my room. 
How pure and chaste everything looked 
after the cold, bare walls of my prison cell ! 
How the restful quiet soothed my jarred 
and weakened nerves, and, above all, what 
comforting balm the dear Mother Superior 



and the sweet sisters poured into the 
wounds of my riven soul ! 

I look back upon the six months spent 
within those sacred walls as the most 
peaceful and the happiest — in the true 
sense — of my life. The life there is so 
calm, so holy, and yet so cheerful, that one 
becomes infected, so that the sad thoughts 
flee away, the drooping hands are once 
more uplifted, and the heart strengthened 
to perform the work that a loving God 
may have ordained. 

I passed several hours of each day 
working in the sewing-room with the 
sisters. During my leisure time I read 
much, and when the weather was fine 
delighted in taking long walks within 
the lovely grounds that surround the 
Home. I did not go out in the country, 
nor attend the services on Sunday at the 

I left Truro on the 20th of July a free 
woman — with a ticket-of-leave, it is true, 
but as I am exempt from police supervision 



even in England, I have no need to con- 
sider it in America or elsewhere. 

By the courtesy of the American Am- 
bassador, the Hon. Joseph H. Choate, I 
was provided with an escort to accompany 
me and my companion on our journey from 
Truro to Rouen, France. 

The Hon.* John Hay, Secretary of State, 
Washington; the Hon. Joseph H. Choate, 
Mr. Henry White, Charge d'Affaires, and 
Mr. Carter, Secretary of Embassy, at Lon- 
don, have always been most earnest in my 
cause. I deeply appreciate their untiring 
efforts in my behalf. 

I Come to America 

After staying with my mother for three 
weeks, on the advice of my trounselors, 
Messrs. Hayden & Yarrell, of Washing- 
ton, District of Columbia, I decided to re- 
turn to America with Mr. Samuel V. Hay- 
den and his charming wife. I longed to be 
once more with my own people, and it was 



only physical weakness and nervous pros- 
tration that prevented me from doing so 
immediately upon my release. I met these 
good friends at Antwerp, Belgium, and 
sailed from there on the Red Star Line 
steamship Vaderland for New York. My 
name was entered on the passenger list as 
Rose Ingraham, that I might secure more 
quiet and privacy ; but when we were a few 
days out the fact of my identity became 
known, and with few exceptions the great- 
est courtesy, consideration, and delicacy 
were shown in the demeanor of the passen- 
gers toward me. If any of these should 
read these lines I would herewith express 
to them my grateful thanks and apprecia- 
tion ; while toward the captain and officers 
of the Vaderland I feel especially indebted 
for their unwearied courtesy and consider- 

When I first caught sight of the Statue 
of Liberty, I, perhaps more than any one 
on board, realized the full meaning of what 
it typifies, and I felt my heart stirred to 



its depths at the memory of what all my 
countrymen and countrywomen had done 
for me during the dark days of my past, to 
prove that they still carried me in their 
hearts, though the great ocean rolled be- 
tween, and that I had not been robbed of 
the high privilege of being an American 

We arrived at New York on the 23d of 
August. It was a " red-letter " day. Once 
more, after many years of suffering and 
when I had long despaired of ever seeing 
the beloved faces of my friends again, my 
feet once again pressed the sacred soil of 
my native land. 

My Lost Years 

A time will come when the world will 
acknowledge that the verdict which was 
passed upon me is absolutely untenable. 
But what then ? Who shall give back the 
years I have spent within prison walls ; the 



friends by whom I am forgotten ; the chil- 
dren to whom I am dead ; * the sunshine ; 
the winds of heaven ; my woman's life, and 
all I have lost by this terrible injustice? 

♦The innocents — my children— one a baby of three 
years, the other a boy of seven, I had left behind in the 
world. They had been taught to believe that their 
mother was guilty, and, like their father, was to them 
dead. They have grown up to years of imderstanding 
under another name. I know nothing about them. 
When the pathos of all this touches the reader's heart he 
will realize the tragedy of my case. 

During the early years of my imprisonment I received 
my children's photographs once a year; also several 
friendly letters from Mr. Thomas Maybrick, with in- 
formation about them. But as time passed on, these 
ceased altogether. When I could endure the silence no 
longer I instructed Mr. R. S. Cleaver, of Liverpool — who 
had been the solicitor in my case, and to whose unwaver- 
ing faith and kindness I owe a debt I can never hope to 
repay — to write to Mr. Michael Maybrick to forward 
fresh photographs of my boy and girl. To this request 
Mr. Thomas Maybrick replied that Mr. Michael May- 
brick refused to permit it. When the matter was further 
urged Mr. Michael Maybrick himself wrote to the gov- 
ernor to inform me that my son, who had been made ac- 
quainted with the history of the case, did not wish either 
his own or his sister's photograph to be sent to me. 



Time may heal the deepest wounds when 
the balm of love and sympathy is poured 
into them. It is well; for if mental 
wounds proved as fatal as those of the 
body, the prison death-roll would indeed 
be a long one. 





Petitions for a Reprieve 

THE jury's verdict of guilty was ren- 
dered on August 7, 1889. The evi- 
dence at the trial, as well as the learned 
judge's "summing up," was reported al- 
most verbatim in the English press. The 
result was that, not only in Liverpool, but 
in almost every city, town, and village of 
the United Kingdom, men and women of 
every class and grade of society arrived at 
the conclusion that the verdict was errone- 
ous — as not founded upon evidence, but 
upon the biased and misleading summing 
up of the case by the mentally incompetent 
IS 225 


judge. Within a few days my lawyers, 
the Messrs. Cleaver, of Liverpool, who had 
notified the press that they would supply 
forms of petition, were inundated with ap- 
plications. For the first two days they is- 
sued one thousand a day, and I have been 
informed that no less than five thousand 
petitions for a reprieve, representing near- 
ly half a million signatures, were sent to 
the Home Secretary within the following 
ten days. In response to these, the Home 
Office issued to the press the following de- 
cision : 

" After the fullest consideration, and af- 
ter taking the best medical and legal advice 
that could be obtained, the Home Secre- 
tary advised Her Majesty to respite the 
capital punishment of Florence Elizabeth 
Maybrick and to commute the punishment 
to penal servitude for life; inasmuch as, 
although the evidence leads to the conclu- 
sion that the prisoner administered and at- 
tempted to administer arsenic to her hus- 
band with intent to murder him, yet it does 



not wholly exclude a reasonable doubt 
whether his death was in /act caused by the 
administration of arsenic 1' 

Illogical Position of Home Secretary 

Thus it will be seen that the Home Sec- 
retary, Mr. Matthews, ignored the impor- 
tant statement of the judge at the trial, 
when, in giving emphasis to his remarks, 
he told the jury that: " It is essential to this 
charge that the man died of arsenic. This 
question must be the foundation of a judg- 
ment unfavorable to the prisoner, that he 
died of arsenic." Then Mr. Matthews, on 
reviewing the evidence given at the trial, 
finding it impossible to justify the verdict, 
because the evidence "does not wholly 
exclude a reasonable doubt whether his 
[James Maybrick's] death was in fact 
caused by the administration of arsenic," 
which question was to be the foundation 
of a judgment unfavorable to me, instead 
of giving his prisoner the benefit of the rea- 



sonable doubt, took it upon himself to apply 
the spirit of the law and of the constitution, 
by making use of a wrongful conviction 
for one offense charged in order to pun- 
ish me for a different offense for which I 
had never been tried, but with which he, 
without any public trial, charged me, \iz.y 
"administering and attempting to admin- 
ister arsenic" to my husband. 

New Evidence of Innocence Ignored 

These charges, made by Mr. Matthews 
in 1889, have never been defined ; nor has 
any statement been submitted to me or my 
legal advisers of the evidence relied on to 
prove them ; nor have I been afforded an 
opportunity of being heard by counsel in 
answer to them, nor of pleading anything 
in reply to them. Had a second trial been 
granted me, I should have seen the evi- 
dence upon which the new charges were 
made against me, and in open court I could 
have confronted the witnesses. But Mr. 



Matthews sentenced me to penal servitude 
for life (without giving me a chance to de- 
fend myself against the charges) which in- 
volved nine months' solitary confinement 
in my case — in itself a most excessive pun- 
ishment for the untried and, consequently, 
unproven charges. He sent me to suffer 
fourteen and one-half years on suspicion — 
a suspicion not warranted by any evidence 
given at the trial. The new evidence, which 
has been obtained since my conviction, is 
admitted by all fair-minded persons to be 
of such a nature that it would satisfy any 
intelligent jury that I was not only wrong- 
fully found guilty of murder, but was most 
wrongfully treated by Mr. Matthews. It 
completely exonerates me from the charge 
of murder as well as "administering and 
attempting to administer arsenic." Since 
this evidence was published, no one has 
attempted to justify the conviction or the 
sentence passed upon me. 

Had the jury, instead of finding a ver- 
dict of " guilty " of murder, returned a ver- 



diet in the same terms as the finding of 
Mr. Matthews, the judge must have en- 
tered it as "not guilty" and discharged 

Lord Russell's Letter 

Well might the Lord Chief Justice Rus- 
sell of Killowen write me, as he did on 
the 27th of June, 1895, telling me that he 
had never relaxed his efforts to urge my 
release, and saying: 

Royal Court, 27th June, 189s. 
Mrs. Maybrick, 

Dear Madam: I have been absent on 
circuit ; hence my delay in answering your 

I beg to assure you that I have never re- 
laxed my efforts where any suitable oppor- 
tunity offered to urge that your release 
ought to be granted. I feel as strongly as 
I have felt from the first that you ought 
never to have been convicted, and this opin- 
ion I have very clearly expressed to Mr. As- 
quith, but I am sorry to say hitherto with- 
out effect. 



Rest assured that I shall renew my rep- 
resentations to the incoming Home Secre- 
tary, whoever he may be, as soon as the 
Government is formed and the Home Sec- 
retary is in a position to deal with such 

I am, 


Russell of Killowen. 

This also seems to be the opinion of the 
leading counsel for the prosecution, Mr. 
Addison, Q.C., M.P. (now Judge Addison, 
of the Southwark County Courts), who is 
reported to have said, after the summing 
up, that "the jury could not, especially 
in view of the medical evidence, find a ver- 
dict of guilty." This statement will be 
found in Sir Charles Russell's protest to 
Mr. Matthews. 

Efforts for Release 

The public are not probably fully aware 
how much intensity of feeling and earnest 
work has been expended on my case dur- 



ing the fourteen and one-half years of my 
imprisonment. The Home Office knows. 
Men in high positions in both political par- 
ties in England have often united in de- 
manding a new trial. The almost invaria- 
ble reply has been that the best means to 
effect my release was to obtain new facts 
or evidence, and submit these to the Home 
Secretary for his consideration. Those 
well-meaning advisers seemed to forget 
that the half million of petitioners for my 
reprieve or free pardon in England — not to 
count those in America — were not moved 
thereto by new facts or evidence, but by 
the absence of facts or evidence sufficient 
to prove that the alleged crime had been 
committed by any one, or that either guilt 
or complicity in that crime, if crime it 
were, attached to me. Surely it is not the 
business of the public nor of individual cit- 
izens to prove the innocence of any un- 
happy person whom process of law selects 
for punishment, while it is the business of 
every citizen to see that the courts incour 



testably prove the guilt of any person ac- 
cused of a crime before sentence is passed, 
in the following manner : 

1. It must be' proved that a crime has 
been committed. 

2. It must be proved beyond a reasona- 
ble doubt that the accused person is the 
one who committed it. 

Even New Evidence Superfluous 

Neither condition has yet been fulfilled 
in my case. The evidence on which a half 
million petitioners said and say I was un- 
justly condemned is sufficient in itself. 
While it is true if a new trial had been 
granted me I could have produced new 
evidence that overwhelmingly demon- 
strated my innocence, it is also true that 
more facts or new evidence were not req- 
uisite to enable justice to be done. 



The Doctors' Doubt 

The doctors who gave evidence in favor 
of death by arsenical poisoning all stated 
that they would not have felt certain on 
the subject if the one-tenth of a grain of 
arsenic had not been found in the body. 
Therefore, since the presence of that ar- 
senic could be otherwise accounted for, I 
was entitled to an acquittal even on the 
evidence of the Crown medical witnesses. 
Moreover, the symptom on which two or 
three doctors for the prosecution laid most 
stress — continuous vomiting — was referred 
by the third to morphia administered by 
himself. All three were examined before 
any evidence of Mr. Maybrick's habit of 
arsenic taking was given. Had they be- 
lieved him to be an arsenic eater, they 
might have arrived at a difiEerent conclu- 
sion. The doctors for the defense, who 
declared that Mr. Maybrick's symptoms 
were not those of arsenical poisoning, were 
men of far more experience as regards poi- 



sons than the Crown medical witnesses. 
The quantity of arsenic found in the body 
was, in their opinion, quite consistent with 
administration in medicinal doses, and 
might have been introduced a considerable 
time before. 

The proved administration of poison 
with intent to kill is punishable by penal 
servitude, but not necessarily for life — 
sometimes for only three years; but the 
charge must be proved in open court to be 
a felonious attempt by some means actually 
used to effectuate the intent, and it remains 
with the prosecution to produce the neces- 
sary evidence that the means used were 
sufficient for the accomplishment of the 

The medical evidence proved that the 
quantity of arsenic — one-tenth of a grain — 
found in Mr. Maybrick's body was not 
sufficient to have produced death. 



Public Surprise at Verdict 

The Times of August 8, 1889, declared 
that, of the hundreds of thousands of per- 
sons who followed the case with eager in- 
terest and attention, not one in three was 
prepared for the verdict. The large ma- 
jority had believed that, in the presence 
of such contradictory evidence, the jury 
would give the prisoner the benefit of the 
doubt and bring in a verdict as much like 
the Scotch " not proven " as is permitted 
by English law. 

Character of Jury 

There was strong prejudice against me, 
due to the numerous false and sensational 
reports circulated by the press during the 
interval between the arrest and the trial. 
The jury belonged to a class of men who 
were not competent to weigh technical 
evidence,* and no doubt attached great 

*The jury was composed of three plumbers, two farm- 
ers, one milliner, one wood-turner, one provision dealer, 
one grocer, one ironmonger, one house-painter, and ooe 




weight to the opinions of the local physi- 
cians, one of whom was somewhat of a 
celebrity. But the main element in the 
conviction was Justice Stephen, whose 
mind, undoubtedly owing to incipient in- 
sanity (he died insane a year later), was 
incapable of dealing with so intricate a 

The "Mad Judge" 

The Liverpool Daily Post, as I am told, 
had been hostile rather than favorable 
toward me, but, on the death of Lord 
Chief Justice Russell, that journal, in arti- 
cles of August 13 and 14, 1900, showed that 
it fully appreciated the unfairness of my 
trial, for it stated that no human being 
ought to be handed over to be tried by a 
"mad judge." The following is taken 
from The Post of August 13, 1900: 

"The death of the Lord Chief Justice 
may have recalled to the minds of some 
Liverpool folk a sad and sordid tragedy 



enacted among them eleven years ago, in 
which he was a principal performer. To 
those who were there, a vivid recollection 
still persists of that bright July morning 
when a thronged court, hushed in expec- 
tancy, awaited the beginning of the May- 
brick trial. In fancy one still hears the 
distant fanfare of the trumpets as the 
judges with quaint pageantry passed down 
the hall, and still with the mind's eye sees 
the stately crimson-clad figure of the great 
mad judge as he sat down to try his last 
case. A tragedy, indeed, was played upon 
the bench no less than in the dock. 

" Few who looked upon the strong, 
square head can have suspected that the 
light of reason was burning very low with- 
in ; yet as the days of the trial dragged by 
— days that must have been as terrible to 
the judge as to the prisoner — men began 
to nod at him, to wonder, and to whisper. 
Nothing more painful was ever seen in 
court than the proud old man's desperate 
struggle to control his failing faculties. 
But the struggle was unavailing. It was 
clear that the growing volume of facts was 

unassorted, undigested in his mind ; that 



his judgment swayed backward and for- 
ward in the conflict of testimony; that his 
memory failed to grip the most sahent 
features of the case for many minutes to- 
gether. It was shocking to think that a 
human life depended upon the direction of 
this wreck of what was once a great judge." 

Justice Stephen's Biased Charge 

The charge of Mr. Justice Stephen to 
the jury positively teemed with misstate- 
ments as to the evidence given during the 
trial. I quote a statement from the same 
journal in its issue of August 17, 1900: 

" I should be very sorry to think that the 
same number of errors as to the matters of 
fact given in the evidence had ever been 
made in any judge's charge. It simply 
swarms with them, and as the jury at the end 
of a long trial is likely to prefer the judge's 
resum^ to their own recollection, I doubt 
if the verdict in the Maybrick case was 
founded on the evidence at all. And if I 
am right in thinking that the jurors found- 
ed their verdict on the judge's recapitula- 




tion of the evidence rather than on the evi- 
dence itself, I do not see how any counsel 
could have saved the prisoner." 

That the jury " did not hear the whole 
of the evidence very distinctly " is admit- 
ted by one of them in the Liverpool Daily 
Post of August 10, 1889. Consequently 
they were likely to be unduly influenced 
by the judge's charge. There is no evi- 
dence that the jury detected the judge's 
misstatements, as a more intelligent jury 
certainly would have done. Their minds 
were " taken captive " by the charge of Jus- 
tice Stephen, and they were as " clay in the 
hands of the potter." 

Lord Russell's Memorandum Quashed 

The Lord Chief Justice sent the Home 
Secretary a memorandum consisting of 
twenty folios, in which he stated the strong 
opinion that " Mrs. Maybrick ought to be 
released at once." The Lord Chief Justice 
also requested that the contents of his 



memorandum be made public. Yet when 
asked in the House of Commons to lay the 
document on the table of the House in 
order that it might be accessible to the 
members, the Home Secretary emphatic- 
ally declined. The London Daily Mail^ 
in a leader on this incident, said : 

" The only conceivable reasons for decli- 
ning to give publicity to the letter, which 
was actually intended for publication, are 
apparently official red tape and the fear of 
giving new life to the agitation in favor of 
Mrs. Maybrick's release. This result will 
be almost as effectually achieved by sur- 
rounding the case with further mystery and 
leaving upon the public mind the grave 
suspicion that justice may not have been 

Repeated Protests of Lord Russell 

The following extracts are taken from 
the " Life of Lord Russell of Killowen " by 
R. Barry O'Brien. 

" In November, 1895, he [Lord Russell] 
16 241 


wrote to Sir Matthew White-Ridley (page 
260),^ conveying his strong and emphatic 
opinion that Florence Maybrick ought 
never to have been convicted; that her 
continued imprisonment is an injustice 
which ought promptly to be ended, and 
added : ' I have never wavered in this opin- 
ion. After her conviction I wrote and had 
printed a memorandum, which I presume 
is preserved at the Home Office. Lest it 
should not be, I herewith transmit a copy.' 

" As is known, what happened was that 
Mr. Matthews, after consultation with the 
present Lord Chancellor, Lord Salisbury, 
and Mr. Justice Stephen, and after seeing 
Dr. Stephenson, the principal Crown wit- 
ness, and also the late Dr. Tidy, respited 
the capital sentence on the expressed 
ground that there was sufficient doubt 
whether death had been caused by arsen- 
ical poisoning to justify the respite. 

"It will be seen (i) that such a doubt ex- 
isted as to the commission of the offense 
for which Florence Maybrick was tried as 
rendered it improper, in the opinion of the 
Home Secretary and his advisers, that the 

capital sentence should be carried out ; and 



(2> that for more than six years Florence 
A^aybrick has been suffering imprisonment 
on the assumption of Mr. Matthews that 
she committed an offense for which she was 
never tried by the constitutional authority 
and of which she has never been adjudged 

From page 261 : " This is in itself a most 
serious state of things. It is manifestly un- 
just that Florence Maybrick should suffer 
for a crime in regard to which she has never 
been called upon to answer before any law- 
ful tribunal. 

" Is it not obvious that if the attempt to 
murder had been the offense for which she 
was arraigned, the course of the defense 
would have been different ? I speak as her 
counsel of what I know. Read the report 
of the defense, and you will see that I de- 
voted my whole strength to and massed the 
evidence upon the point that the prosecu- 
tion had misconceived the facts, that the 
foundation on which the whole case rested 
was rotten, for that, in fact, there was no 
murder; that, on the contrary, the de- 
ceased had died from natural causes. 

'* It is true that incidental reference was 



made to certain alleged acts of Florence 
Maybrick, but the references were inci- 
dental only ; the stress of my argument be- 
ing, in fact, that no murder had been com- 
mitted^ because the evidenxe did not warrant 
the conclusion that the deceased had died 
Jrom. arsenical poisoning On the other 
hand, had the Crown counsel suggested the 
case of attempt to murder by poison, it 
would have been the duty of counsel to ad- 
dress himself directly and mainly to the 
alleged circumstances which, it was argued, 
pointed to guilty intent. That these al- 
leged circumstances were capable in part of 
being explained, in part of being minimized, 
and in part of being attacked as unre- 
liably vouched, can not, I think, be doubted 
by any one who has with a critical eye 
scanned the evidence. I do not deny that 
my feelings are engaged in this case. It is 
impossible that they should not be, but I 
have honestly tried to judge the case, and 
I now say that if I was called upon to ad- 
vise in m.y character of head of the Crimi- 
nal fudicature of this country y I should ad- 
vise you that Florence Maybrick ought to be 

allowed to go free!' 




From page 262 : " I think it my duty to 
renew my protest against the continued 
imprisonment of Florence Maybrick. I 
consider the history of the case reflects dis- 
credit on the administration of the crimi- 
nal law. I think my protest ought to be 
attended to at last. The prisoner has al- 
ready undergone punishment for a period 
four times as long, or more, as the mini- 
mum punishment fixed by law for the 
commission of the crime, of which she 
has never been convicted or for which she 
has never been tried, but for which she has 
been adjudged guilty by your predecessor 
in the office of Home Secretary." 

The American Official Petition 

The following is quoted from the Ameri- 
can Official Petition sent to the Rt. Hon. 
Henry Matthews, Q.C., M.P., Her Maj- 
esty's principal secretary for the Home 
Department : 

" As Florence Elizabeth Maybrick is an 
American woman, without father, brother, 



husband, or kin in England, except two in- 
fcint children, enduring penal servitude for 
life in Woking Prison ; 

" As the conduct of her trial resulted in 
a profound impression of a miscarriage of 
justice, in an earnest protest against the 
verdict, and the execution of the sentence 
of death, and its commutation to penal ser- 
vitude for life on the ground of reasonable 
doubt whether a murder had been com- 
mitted ; 

" As a careful legal scrutiny of the evi- 
dence given at the trial by eminent solici- 
tors, barristers, queen's counsel, and mem- 
bers of Parliament, and the production of 
facts not in evidence at the trial have re- 
sulted in a final decision of counsel that 
the case is one proper for the grave con- 
sideration of a criminal appellate tribunal 
— if such a tribunal existed ; 

" Therefore, we earnestly ask that the Rt 
Hon. Henry Matthews, Q.C., M.P., Her 
Majesty's principal secretary of state for 
the Home Department, will advise Her 
Majesty to order the pardon and release of 
the prisoner, who has now suffered an im- 
prisonment of three years. 



** Levi P. Morton, Vice-President of the 
United States, President of the Sen- 

Charles T. Crisp, Speaker of the House 
of Representatives. 

Charles Foster, Secretary of the Treas- 

James G. Blaine, Secretary of State. 

S. B. Elkins, Secretary of War. 

W. H. Miller, Attorney-General. 

John Wanamaker, Postmaster-General. 

B. T. Tracy, Secretary of the Navy. 

John B. Noble, Secretary of the Inte- 

G. M. Rusk, Secretary of Agriculture. 

J., Cardinal Gibbons. 

J. M. ScoFiELD, Major - General Com- 
manding the Army. 

A. W. Truly, Brigadier-General-in-Chief, 
Signal Office. 

Thomas Lincoln Casey, Brigadier-Gen- 
eral-in-Chief of Engineers. 

Joseph Cabell Breckenridge, Brigadier- 
General, Infantry-General. 

J. O. Kelton, Brigadier-General, Adju- 

William Smith, Paymaster-General. 











" H. M. Batchelder, General - Quarter- 

" B. Du Barry, General and Commanding 
General Infantry. 

"O. Sutherland, General Infantry Gen- 

" D. W. Flagler, Chief of Ordnance. 

"J.Norman Lisber, Acting Judge-Advo- 

" Thomas Ewing, Brevet-Major-General, 
U. S. A., and many others." 

Secretary Blaine's Letter to Minister 


I will conclude by quoting the letter of 
Secretary Blaine to Mr. Robert Lincoln, 
then Minister to the Court of St. James. It 
will be seen that Mr. Blaine was of opinion 
that I had lost my citizenship. Since this 
letter was written it has been decided by 
the Supreme Court of the United States 
that a woman married to a foreigner, on 
the death of her husband can, on applica- 
tion, be reinstated to citizenship, 





Astor, Lenox and TMden 


" Department of State, Washington, 

" March 7, 1893- 
" My DEAR Mr. Lincoln : As Mrs. May- 
brick lost her American citizenship by her 
English marriage, and as I fear she does 
not resume it by her widowhood, I can not 
instruct you officially as to the course you 
should pursue toward her. 

*' But her American and Southern birth, 
her connection with many families of the 
highest respectability and even of promi- 
nence in the country's service, have attract- 
ed much attention to her fate, 

** I have no other interest in her than an 
interest which you and I share in common 
with all our countrymen — the desire to help 
an American woman in distress. That she 
may have been influenced by the foolish 
ambition of too many American girls for a 
foreign marriage, and have descended from 
her own rank to that of her husband's fam- 
ily, which seems to have been somewhat 
vulgar, must be forgiven to her youth, 
since she was only eighteen at the time of 
her marriage, 
** There is a wide and widening belief in 

this country that she is legally innocent 



and iUegally imprisoned. The official 
charge of the judge that murder must be 
proved and the official announcement of 
the Home Secretary that the evidence 
leaves a ' reasonable doubt ' of murder are 
the premises of but one conclusion — the 
discharge of the prisoner. 

" The fact that she was never indicted or 
tried by a jury of her peers on a specific 
count of felonious attempt to administer 
arsenic, yet is condemned to penal servi- 
tude for life on the Home Secretary's 
statement that she evidently made such an 
attempt, can never be reconciled to the 
English principle that an accused person 
shall be tried by a jury of his peers. Law- 
yers here are among the strongest believers 
in the illegality of her imprisonment. In- 
deed, the sense of injustice is developing 
and deepening into horror.^ 

" Officially I could only instruct you on 

behalf of a multitude of American citizens 

to investigate her case. Personally I beg 

to express to you my deep interest in it, 

and pray you, if possible, to communicate 

with Messrs. Lumley and Sir Charles 

Russell as to any method of American co- 



operation which may seem to them desir- 

" Messrs. Limiley have made a very able 
brief, which I am sure would interest you, 
and which seems to me unanswerable. Sir 
Charles Russell, whose reputation you 
know, is her counsel. Consult with them 
what best can be done, from an American 
point of view, to secure Mrs. Maybrick's 
release. And if you shall have read Lum- 
ley's brief, I am sure that conviction will 
lead you to personal activity in her behalf. 

" You can communicate with me in strict 

confidence, as from one American citizen 

to another, for the relief of an American 

woman helplessly enduring a great wrong. 

" Believe me, etc., 

" James G. Blaine." 

And yet it required the time from 
March 7, 1892, until July 20, 1904, to attain 
my liberation; and then it was accom- 
plished by time limit and by no act of grace 
or concession on the part of the English 



Henry W. Lucy on Lord Russell 

The Strand Magazine^ London, in its 
November number, 1900, published an arti- 
cle by Henry W. Lucy, Esq., who, speak- 
ing of the late Lord Chief Justice Russell, 

"The most remarkable episode in 
Charles Russell's career at the bar un- 
doubtedly was his defense of Mrs. May- 

" I happened to find myself in the same 
hotel with him at Liverpool on the morn- 
ing of the day set down for the opening of 
the trial. At breakfast he spoke in confi- 
dent terms of his client's innocence and of 
the surety of her acquittal. He did not 
take into account the passing mood of the 
judge who tried the case, and so found 
himself out of his reckoning ; but the ver- 
dict of the jury, still less the summing-up 
of Fitz-James Stephen, did not shake his 
conviction. Sir Charles Russell was of all 
men least likely to be misled by appear- 
ances or deliberate deception; having 



probed the case to the bottom, having 
turned his piercing eyes on the woman in 
the dock, having talked to her in private 
and studied her in public, he was con- 
vinced of her innocence. 

" Lord Landoff was a lawyer of high po- 
sition at the English bar when, as Mr. 
Henry Matthews, he came into the Home 

" The verdict of the jury was * guilty,' 
and her sentence was death, which was a 
real surprise, as was afterward learned, even 
to the judge. Sir Fitz-James Stephen. If 
Mr. Matthews believed her guilty, he 
should not have commuted her sentence 
upon the ground that he assigned. If she 
was guilty she well deserved death on the 
scaffold. The evidence, however, satisfied 
Mr. Matthews that there was reasonable 
doubt that the death of Mr. Maybrick was 
due to arsenic. In this view, as is well 
known, he was sustained by Justice Ste- 
phen. If such a doubt really came into 
Mr. Matthews's mind, as was made the 
ground of the commutation of the sentence, 
under English law that doubt entitled the 
accused to acquittal. 



" Why he lacked the courage of his con- 
victions can only be surmised. At all 
events he did not dare to take the respon- 
sibility of allowing her to be executed. 

" The intercession of the American Gov- 
ernment through Mr. Blaine, Secretary of 
State, was urgent, strong, and most in- 
tense. It is incredible that Mr. Matthews 
desired any loophole to release her. The 
case was full of them. 

"Sir Matthew White-Ridley was not a 
lawyer, and there is no probability that he 
ever read the evidence in the case, which 
was voluminous. He could not have read 
the papers in three days if he had attempt- 
ed it. He simply followed his predeces- 
sor's line and was not able to take up the 
case on its merits." 

Lord Russell's Conviction of Mrs. 
Maybrick's Innocence 

This statement of Mr. Lucy is of great 
value as an answer to the assault made on 
Lord Russell's memory after his death, on 
his firm belief in my innocence. 


Lord Hugh Cecil wrote to a constituent: 

" I believe I am right in stating that he 
(Lord Russell) never said that he believed 
Mrs. Maybrick to be innocent." 

When this was shown Lord Russell by 
Mr. A. W. McDougall, Esq., the Chief 
Justice exclaimed : 

" Does Lord Hugh Cecil suppose that I 
would abandon all the traditions of the Bar 
and put forward publicly as an argument 
in such a case my personal belief in this, 
that, or the other thing ? Does he suppose 
that I would have made all the eflForts I 
have been making to obtain her freedom if 
I believed her to be guilty ?" 

Explanation of Attitude of Home 


" Personal Rights," of November 15, in 
commenting on the statement of Mr. Lucy 
in The Strand Magazine^ says : 



"We do not share the belief that Sir 
Fitz- James Stephen was insane in any plen- 
ary sense at the time of the trial ; but we 
are convinced that he was not fully sane. 
His charge to the jury, the report of which 
is reproduced in full in Mr. Levy's book, is 
grotesquely inaccurate; and if the jury 
took it to be a compendium of the evidence 
— as they probably did — the result of their 
deliberation is fully accounted for. I ndeed, 
if the facts were such as the judge stated, 
the verdict could hardly be impugned. 
How different they were may be seen by 
any one who compares the evidence with 
the judge's charge, in the book already re* 
f erred to. To take a single instance : the 
judge stated that, according to the evidence 
of Alice Yapp, at the commencement of 
Mr. Maybrick's illness, he was very sick 
and in great pain immediately after some 
medicine was given to him by his wife. 
Alice Yapp swore nothing of the kind. 
She saw neither any administration of 
medicine nor any sickness. We could 
give other instances of gross inaccu- 
racy, generally leading to the conclusion 

of the prisoner's guilt; but, for our 




present purpose, the above incident will 

" If this was the character of the judge'^s 
charge to the Jury, what confidence can be 
placed in his notes ? Still upon those notes 
was probably based the conclusions of suc- 
€€s^ve Home Secretaries or of the officials 
employed by them. When Mr. Lucy 
holds up his hands in astonishment at the 
marvelous consensus of opinion of various 
Hcwne Secretaries^ he seems to us to mani- 
fest remarkable blindness — for one so Jong 
behind the Speaker s chair^as to the vica- 
rious nature of that opinion. It is more 
than possible that the conclusions of Mr. 
Matthews, Mr. Asquith, and Sir Matthew 
White-Ridley were all drawn for them by 
the same gentleman, or, at least, that the 
same gentleman helped these various 
Home Secretaries to come to the same 

"We hope that Mr. Ritchie, the new 
Home Secretary, will judge this matter for 
himself. Let him read the salient portions, 
at leatet, oi Mr. Levy's book, and„ per con- 
tra, the article of X. Y. Z. in The Contem- 
porary Review of September last. If he 
17 257 


likes to make the inquiry, he will find that 
X. Y. Z. is one of his new permanent staflF. 
and that the doctrines put forward in the 
article are the embodiment of Home Office 
practise. This is a matter which does not 
concern the Maybrick case alone. Scarce- 
ly a month passes without some new mani- 
festation of injustice brought about by ad- 
herence to the traditions of the department 
over which Mr. Ritchie now presides. If 
he will seek out this hydra and slay it, he 
will leave for himself an immortal name 
among Secretaries of State, and — what he 
will hold of more importance — ^he will cut 
ofiF a permanent source of injustice, give 
releasement and joy to the innocent pining 
in prison, and breathe a new life into a de- 
partment which is sadly in need of a reno- 
vating spirit." 

Upholding the Justiciary 

In the same number of this journal is an 
article from " Lex," a well-known writer in 
English journals, which we reproduce : 

"Sir: May I call attention to the two 



articles in the Liverpool Post of August 13 
and 14, in which the utter incompetence of 
the judge at the Maybrick trial is strongly 
asserted? The writer is distinctly hostile 
to the prisoner, and writes without any in- 
tention of raising the question whether the 
trial was not null and void; but as the 
English system consists of trial by judge 
and jury, the total incompetence of either 
element should clearly vitiate it. More- 
over, Mr. Ruggles-Brise, on the occasion 
of a visit to America in 1897, stated that 
the reason of the steadfast refusal of the 
Home Secretary to release the prisoner was 
his desire to uphold the wholesome authority 
of the English justiciary . That authority 
can not be regarded as wholesome if the 
judge was insane. Lord Russell, who was 
present throughout the trial, was of differ- 
ent opinion from that of the judge. He 
was undoubtedly sane. If Sir J. F. Ste- 
phen was insane, the public will, I think, 
be of opinion that the sane judge should 
have had the most influence with the exec- 



Need of Court of Criminal Appeal 

Lord Esher, in The Times of August 17, 
1889, strongly advocated a court of crimi- 
nal appeal, and The Times^ in an article of 
the same date, supported the views ex- 
pressed by Lord Esher and by Lord Fitz- 
gerald, as follows : 

"A court of appeal, as Lord Esher 
sketches it, would not be open to the ob- 
jections which can be fairly urged against 
our present informal method of proced- 
ure. The Home Secretary, as a quasi court 
of appeal, is, as Lord Fitzgerald remarks, 
not a judge and has not the power of a 
judge. . . . The judgment pronounced by 
a strong court of criminal appeal, such as 
Lord Esher's letter suggests, would do 
more to satisfy the public mind than the 
best efforts of the Home Secretary could 
possibly do. The reform which Lord Esh- 
er advocates has been long called for, and 
Lord Fitzgerald did well to press it on the 
Government. . . . What the public feel is 
that they would rather have the fallibility 



of trained judges than the fallibility of an 
individual sitting without any of the ap- 
paratus with which a court of law is enabled 
to detect truth from falsehood, and perhaps 
unconsciously confusing the prerogative 
of mercy with justice." 





'T^HIS brief of Messrs. Lumley & Lum- 
* ley, characterized in the preceding 
letter of Secretary Blaine as "very able" 
and "unanswerable," is too long for re- 
production in these pages in its entirety, 
and hence only the main points are given. 
The document was prepared at the in- 
stance of Lord Russell of Killowen for 
submission to himself and three other 
Queen's Counsel, with a view of obtain- 
ing a new trial. It may interest the 
reader to know that the money required 
to make this searching analysis by Messrs. 
Lumley & Lumley was raised by a popu- 
lar subscription in America, through the 
good offices of the New York World. 
The eminent Queen's counsel, after a full 
consideration of the analysis of the case, 
submitted the following opinion : 



Opinion — Re F. E. Maybrick 

" Having carefully considered the facts 
stated in the elaborate case submitted to 
us by Messrs. Lumley & Lumley, and 
the law applicable to the matter, we are 
clearly of opinion that there is no mode by 
which in this case a new trial or a ' venire 
de novo ' can be obtained, nor can the pris- 
oner be brought up on a ' habeas corpus,' 
with the view to retrying the issue of her 
innocence or guilt. 

" We say this notwithstanding the case 
of Regina vs. Scarfe (17 Q. B., 238, 5 ; Cox, 
C. C, 243; 2 Den., C. C, 281). 

"We are of opinion that in English 
criminal procedure there is no possibility 
of procuring a rehearing in the case of fel- 
ony where a verdict has been found by a 
properly constituted jury upon an indict- 
ment which is correct in form. This rule 
is, in our opinion, absolute, unless circum- 
stances have transpired, and have been en- 
tered upon the record, which, when there 
appearing, would invalidate the tribunal 
and reduce the trial to a nullity by reason 



of its not having been before a properly 
constituted tribunal. None of the matters 
proposed to be proved go to this length. 

" We think it right to add tihat then^ are 
many matters stated in the case, not merely 
with reference to the evidence at and the 
incidents of the trial, but suggesting new 
facts, which would be umitiers proper /lor 
the grave consideration ^f m Cfourt ^f 
Criminal Appeal^ if such a tribunal existed 
in this country. 
(Signed) " Charles Russell^ Q.C. 

" I. Fletcher Moulton, Q.C* 

Harrv Bookin Poland, Q.C. 

Regikald Smith, Q.C* 

"Lincoln's Inn, 12th April, 1898* 

This opinion was based upon the follow- 
ing points, presented by Messrs. Lumley 
& Lumley; 

Justice Stephen's Misdirections 

The misdirections which are selected for 
consideration may be conveniently classed, 
among others, under these headings : 

I. As to the facts disclosed in the evi* 





dence of the procuring and possession of 
arsenic by Mrs. Maybrick and of her ad- 
ministering if. 

2% As to the cause of death. 
A perusal of the summing-up from be- 
ginning to end impresses the mind with 
the feeling that, whenever Mn Justice Ste- 
phen approached any fact ofiEered by the 
defense which threw light upon the posses- 
sion and an tUteged administration of ar^^ 
senic by Mrs. Maybrick^ he drew the minds 
of the jury away from it; he played) in 
fcw^t, the part (of the peewit, which swoops 
and screams in another part of the field on 
purpose to hide where its nest is» and to 
draw the attention of the passers-by from 
the right spot. 

Mr. Justice Stephen pointed out to the 
jury in his summing-up: " You must begin 
the whole subject of poison with this, 
which is a remarkable fact in the case and 
which it seems to me tells favorably rather 
than otherwise for the prisoner^ You 
must take notice of it and consider what 



inference you draw from it. In the whole 
case, from first to last, there is tio evidence 
at all of her having bought any poison, or 
definitely having had anything to do with 
procuring any, with the exception of fly- 
papers. But there is evidence of a consid- 
erable quantity having been found in vari- 
ous things, which were kept some here and 
some there — kept principally, as I gather, 
in the inner room.* . . . There is evidence 
about a considerable quantity of poison in 
this house, and more particularly about 
one or two receptacles which were in the 
inner room, Mr. Maybrick's dressing-room, 
as it has been pointed out." 

Misdirection as to Mr. Maybrick's 


From the testimony it appears that on 
the 27th of April James Maybrick, before 
starting to the Wirrall Races, was sick. 
There is no actual evidence of vomiting, 

* Mr. Maybrick's dressing-room. 



but he is described as sick, and as feeling 
a numbness in his legs while walking down- 
stairs, which was an old-standing complaint 
of his of many years. Both he himself and 
Mrs. Maybrick told the servants that this 
was due to a double dose of some London 
medicine. He got wet through at the 
races and dined in his wet clothes at a 
friend's (Mr. Hobson), on the other side of 
the Mersey, and did not return home till 
after the servants had retired to bed ; but 
the next morning, Sunday, the 28th of 
April, he was taken ill, and Mrs. Maybrick 
sent a servant o£E hurriedly for Dr. Hum- 
phreys, who had not attended her husband 
before, but who was the doctor living near- 
est the house, and in the mean time got 
some mustard and water, telling him to 
take it, as it would remove the brandy at 
all events. Dr. Humphreys attended 
James Maybrick on the 28th, but was not 
told by him that he had vomited the day 

Mr. Justice Stephen, when referring to 



this, said: "The Wirrall Races were fol- 
lowed by symptoms which were described 
to be arsenical." It is submitted that this 
was a misdirection^ the symptom there re- 
ferred to being sickness, and there was no 
evidence of vomiting on any of the days 
immediately succeeding the Wirrall Races. 
But on the 28th of April the mustard and 
water was given him by Mrs. Maybrick for 
the purpose of producing sickness and re- 
moving the brandy, and if he had been sick 
it would have been attributable to mustard 
and water ^ not to arsenic. 

On the other hand, the medical evi- 
dence showed that gastroenteritis might 
have been set up either by improper food 
or drink, or an excess of either ; or, again, 
by such a wetting through as deceased got 
at the Wirrall Races. On the 8th of May 
Alice Yapp communicated to Mrs. Briggs 
and Mrs. Hughes her suspicions that 
James Maybrick's illness was due to Mrs. 
Maybrick poisoning him ^\^ fly-papers. 



Misdirection as to Mrs. Maybrick's 
Access to Poisons 

The purchase and soaking of fly-papers 
is the only direct evidence of the posses- 
sion of arsenic in any form by Mrs. May- 
brick, but the judge told the jury, and it is 
submitted it is a gross misdirection^ that 
Mrs. Maybrick " undoubtedly had access to 
considerable quantities of arsenic in other 
formsl' inasmuch as the only evidence a^ to 
such access was that after the death of 
James Maybrick these two women, Mrs. 
Briggs and Alice Yapp, who exhibited the 
most unfriendly feeling toward her, said 
they had found in the house certain stores 
of arsenic. 

It is submitted for the serious considera- 
tion of counsel that the circumstances un- 
der which these two women produced these 
stores of arsenic are so suspicious as to jus- 
tify the suggestion that that arsenic was 
not there before his death, and that Mrs. 
Maybrick never did have any access to it 



or knowledge of it at all. There was no 
evidence as to where or by whom this ar- 
senic was obtained, nor was there any evi- 
dence that the police had made any eflFort 
to discover where, when, or by whom that 
arsenic was procured. 

[Note. — How and when this arsenic may 
have been procured by Mr. Maybrick him- 
self will appear further on as a part of the 
new evidence.] 

The places in which arsenic was found 
were open and accessible to every one in 
the house, and no person gave any evi- 
dence that he or she had ever seen it in 
the house before these two women found 
it after death. 

As regards the black powder (arsenic 
mixed with charcoal) and the two solutions 
of arsenic produced by Mrs. Briggs and 
Alice Yapp, Mr. Davies, the analyst, gave 
evidence that, when analyzing the contents 
of the various bottles, he had searched dili- 
gently and microscopically for any traces, 
and could find no trace of charcoal having 



been introduced into any of them. So this 
circumstantial evidence may be eliminated. 

As regards white arsenic, also produced 
by these women, it must be observed that 
not only was it not shown that Mrs. May- 
brick had purchased any, but it is sub- 
mitted that the judge ought to have pointed 
out to the jury ^ as the fact is, that it would 
have been almost impossible for her or any 
woman to have obtained any white arsenic 
at all. No shopkeeper dare sell it to any 
one except to a medical man, and even 
then under the stringent restrictions of the 
Sale of Poison Act. 

At the trial a wholesale druggist 
(Thompson, of Liverpool) gave evidence 
that James Maybrick constantly visited his 
cousin, who had been in his employment 
at his stores, where he could have obtained 
white arsenic from him without any diffi- 
culty ; and it will be observed that it was 
found in his hatbox. 

It is a remarkable thing in this connec- 
tion that, while Edwin Maybrick called the 




pc^e in on Sunday night, and gave them 
the bkick solutions and white solutions 
which Mrs. Biiggs had found on the Sun- 
day morning, he did not gfive them the 
black powder which Alice Ya|^ had iound 
on the* night before; and, i^ fact, that 
Michael Maybrick did not give it to the 
police until Tuesday, the i4tK. 

It is also a remarkahte fact that, ahhougk 
these black solutions and that white scltih 
tton of arsenic and that soK^ arsenic wluch 
Mrs. Brig^s had found, were not handed by 
the police to the anal^^st until several days 
afterward, and were therefore naf known ib 
be arsenic by awy'body^ yet Mrs. 3riggs was 
abh to inform, Mirs. Mayirttk 09t T^iesdny^ 
ike i'4tk^ as was testified t6y that these bet* 
ties contained arsenic. 

It is submitted that Mrs. Brigga eouU 
not have known that without some other 
means of knowledge than k>oking at thenu 

The importance of this misdirection d 

the judge as to the question of possession 

of arsenic by Mrs. Maybrick can iK)t be 




overstated. It was conclusively shown that 
no decoction of fly-papers or of the black 
powder was the source of the arsenic with 
which certain articles found in the house 
and office were said to be infected, because 
the analyst said he had searched for the 
fibers of the papers and for the charcoal, 
and could notjind any traces of either. If 
Mrs. Maybrick knew of the pure arsenic, 
why should she have bought the fly-papers, 
either for a cosmetic purpose or murder, 
and what should she have wanted with 
" poison for cats ? *' 

Misdirection as to " Traces " of Arsenic 

Out of the list submitted by the police, 
therefore, the only two things which could 
have been the source of the arsenic were 
the bottle of saturated solution, No. lo in 
the Police List, and the bottle of solid ar- 
senic. No. 1 1 in the Police List. 

It may be observed that if all the arsenic 
or " traces " of the same, with which various 
i8 273 


things were said to be infected, were col- 
lected together, it would not constitute a 
fatal dose, the smallest fatal dose recorded 
being two grains, and this in the case of a 
woman, and surely not in the case of a per- 
son addicted to large doses of arsenic. 

At the inquest Mr. Davies defined what 
he meant by the word " trace." He said : 

" It means something under xrir part of 
a grain. It does not mean something 
which I could not weigh, but something 
which I could 7wt guarantee to be abso- 
lutely free from other things ; but anything 
under -^ part of a grain I should not con- 
sider satisfactory. If I said distinct traces, 
I should say it meant something between 
TOT and Y^ part of a grain, while a mi- 
nute trace is less than xroir part of a grain." 

In reference to Reinsch's test which Mr. 
Davies used in these experiments, this pas- 
sage occurs in Taylor's " Medical Jurispru- 
dence," vol. i., p. 268 : " The mere presence 
of a gray deposit on pure copper afFords no 
absolute proof of the presence of arsenic. 



Bismuth, antimony, and mercury all yield 
deposits with Reinsch's test. The gray 
deposit of bismuth may easily be taken for 
arsenic." And again: "The errors into 
which the faulty methods of applying 
Reinsch's test lead have led its reliability 
to be much discredited, and, although in 
skilful hands the results are trustworthy, it 
would be perhaps unsafe to rely upon it in 
an important criminal investigation." 

It is submitted that the evidence relating 
to the articles which Mr. Davies said were 
infected with arsenic only to the extent of 
an unweighable trace could not and ought 
not to be regarded as proof that any ar- 
senic at all was there, or as being anything 
more than a suspicion upon this analyst's 
mind that what he saw was arsenic, and 
that it was a misdirection on the part of 
Mr. Justice Stephen to treat a mere ex- 
pression of opinion of that kind as proof of 
the presence of arsenic. 



Misdirection as to Arsenic in Solution 

It will be observed that the only things 
of which James Maybrick could have par- 
taken [but did not], in which arsenic in a 
weighable form was present, were the bot- 
tle of Valentine's meat juice and the pot 
of glycerin, and that the arsenic found in 
them was found in a state of solution. 

As regards the half grain of arsenic found 
in the meat juice ^ scientific evidence will 
be forthcoming that it is a physical impos- 
sibility for any person to dissolve half a 
grain of solid arsenic in 411 grains of Val- 
entine's meat juice, which is all the liquid 
that was in the bottle when it was handed 
to Mr. Davies. 

Mr. Davies, moreover, found that (al- 
though he used very loose and unscientific 
language in his evidence) the specific grav- 
ity of the meat juice was considerably re- 
duced, thereby showing that the half grain 
of arsenic found in it had been introduced 
in the form of arsenic in solutions 



It will now be observed that the only 
arsenic in solution which was available^ 
among the stores of. arsenic found in the 
house, was the bottle No. lo in the police 
list, and it is submitted that bottle No. 1 1 
(solid arsenic) must, like the black solu- 
tions, be eliminated from any store of arsen- 
ic which Mrs. Maybrick, whether she had 
access to it or not, could have employed for 
the purpose of infecting any of the things 
found in the house to be infected. 

Mr. Davies described the bottle No. lo 
as a saturated solution of white arsenic, 
and he stated that it had been dissolved 
with water, some of the crystals remaining 
at the bottom undissolved. 

At the inquest he stated, in reply to a 
question by the coroner: " The bottle No. 
10, which was also in the box, contained a 
saturated solution of arsenic and solid ar- 
senic at the bottom. There was no label 
on it. It contained, solid and liquid, per- 
haps two grains — a grain at all events." 

*Sl9 it is evident that there was not a fatal 



dose even in the stores which Mrs. May- 
brick could have used had she had access to 

As regards this bottle, Mr. Justice Ste- 
phen told the jury: "A saturated solution 
is a solution which has taken up as much 
arsenic as it can, the water becoming satu- 
rated with arsenic; the remainder of the 
arsenic is found at the bottom. In this 
case there was a saturated solution of ar- 
senic in the water and a small portion of 
arsenic at the bottom. With regard to that 
these questions arise: What was it for? 
Who is wanting such a quantity of strong 
solution of arsenic ? Who has put it there 
and how is it to be used ? These are the 
questions, in the solution of which I can 
not help you. There is nothing definite 
about it to connect Mr. Maybrick with it 
certainly.* If he was in the habit of arsenic 
eating he would not keep it saturated in 

♦ Later evidence showed that Mr, Maybrick secured as 
much as 150 grains from one person, only about two 
months before his death. 



water in quantities he could not possibly 

Mr. Davies found that this bottle " con- 
tained in solid and liquid perhaps two 
grains — a grain at all events." Now arsen- 
ic can be dissolved in water by two proc- 
esses. In cold water by shaking it con- 
stantly for several hours (and the strongest 
solution that can be obtained by the cold- 
water process is a one-per-cent. solution, 
which is no stronger than the ordinary 
Fowler's solution as sold in the shops). 
That is called a "saturated solution" by 
the cold-water process. A solution of 
three or even four per cent, can be ob- 
tained with boiling water, but only when 
the water is kept on the constant boil for 
several hours; and that is also called a 
saturated solution," so that the phrase 
saturated solution" may mean either a 
weak solution of one per cent., such as is 
gained by the cold-water process, or a 
stronger solution of three per cent, by the 
boiling-water process, and Mr. Justice Ste- 



phen misdirected the jury as to the mean- 
ing of the phrase "saturated solution." 
He should have told them that a "satur- 
ated solution " of arsenic is one which has 
by any particular process taken up as much 
arsenic and retained it in solution as is pos- 
sible by that particular process, and that it 
might consequently be either a weak or a 
stronger solution, according as it has been 
dissolved by the cold-water or boiling-water 
process, by shaking for hours or boiling for 

The questions put to the jury by Mr. 
Justice Stephen upon the interpretation of 
the phrase " saturated solution " which he 
gave, namely, "How is it to be used?" 
" Who is wanting such a quantity of strong 
solution of arsenic? " are misdirections. 

Mr. Clayton's Experiments 

Counsel are referred to experiments 
made with solutions of arsenic by Mr. E. 
Godwin Clayton, of the firm of Hassall & 



Clayton. From these it will be seen that 
by the experiment there marked B, where 
the arsenic was shaken at intervals of 
twenty minutes for six hours, the result 
shows that it would require i86J^ grains 
of water to carry half a grain of arsenic. 
And that by experiment C, which is the 
strongest possible solution by the cold- 
water process, namely, one-per-cent. 
strength (equal to Fowler's solution), it 
would require 50 grains of water to 
carry half a grain, but to obtain this 
the arsenic has to be shaken with cold 
water at Jrequent intervals for four 

Mr. Godwin Clayton, in his report as 
to these experiments, remarks : " I think, 
however, that as few people outside a 
chemical laboratory would have the pa- 
tience or opportunity to make a solution 
by shaking it at short intervals during four 
days, the solution obtained in experiment 
B — namely, an arsenical strength of 0.268 
per cent. — might be described in a popular 



sense, though not with strict scientific ac- 
curacy, as ' saturated solution of arsenic' " 
But then if that be so, that is only about a 
quarter of the strength of Fowler's solu- 
tion! The evidence of Mr. Davies as to 
the specific gravity of the meat juice being 
considerably reduced ought, it is submitted, 
not to have been received as scientific evi- 
dence, and it was a misdirection to treat it 
as such, because without the slightest diffi- 
culty, as will be seen by a reference to Mr. 
Godwin Clayton's experiments, Mr. Da- 
vies's evidence ought to have been scien- 
tifically exact, because he could have 
shown that (for example) if a solution of 
the strength of experiment B had been 
used, the 411 grains of liquid would have 
contained i86J^ of solution of arsenic and 
2^3^ grains of meat juice; and, further, 
that the specific gravity of the meat juice 
would, in that case, have been lowered 
from 1.2143 to 1. 1263; and it was, there- 
fore, not only possible, but the duty of Mr. 
Davies, as an expert, to have shown, by 



comparing the specific gravity of the bottle 
No. 10 and the specific gravity of Valen- 
tine's meat juice, that the " arsenic in solu- 
tion" which had been introduced into it 
had been introduced into it out of that par- 
ticular bottle, No. lo. 

Then, again, it will be seen from these 
experiments of Mr. Godwin Clayton that if 
the solution in bottle No. lo had been a 
strong hot-water solution of three per cent., 
the specific gravity would not have been 
considerably reduced, because the meat 
juice would in that case have contained 
only isJ^ grains of arsenical solution. To 
have obtained such a solution, the "ar- 
senic powder " must have been boiled with 
distilled water for four hours ; and it is sub- 
mitted that it would have been impossible^ 
in the first place, for Mrs. Maybrick, or any 
person outside a laboratory, to have adopted 
such a process of dissolving arsenic without 
the knowledge of the servants or anybody 
else ; and, further, that even if she could 
have done this, she could not have possibly 



weighed out exactly half a grain of it, which 
is what Mr. Davies found ; and it is sug- 
gested that the only way in which that half 
grain of arsenic could possibly have been 
measured into that bottle, must have been 
by introducing Fowler's solution, and no 
Fowler^ s solution was found in the house — 
and in no way was it suggested that Mrs. 
Maybrick had any access to any, though 
others in that house may have been able to 
procure such a medicinal dose of it. 

Misdirection as to Arsenic in Gly- 

As regards the glycerin, fnspector Bax- 
endale said he found this bottle in the lava- 
tory on the 1 8th of May. There was no 
evidence that this bottle had ever been in 
Mrs. Maybrick's hands, and there was no 
evidence that any part of it had been used 
by James Maybrick. There was evidence 
that it was a freshly opened bottle. Scien- 
tific evidence will be forthcoming that it is 



an absolute impossibility for any person to 
distribute arsenic evenly through a pound 
of glycerin. 

It is suggested that there is no possible 
means by which that glycerin could have 
been administered with a felonious intent 
to James Maybrick; the mere moistening 
the lips with small quantities of it could 
not have operated in that way. 

Scientific evidence will be forthcoming 
that glycerin, when kept in glass bottles, 
generally does contain arsenic, which it ex- 
tracts from the glass of the bottle. 

In 1888 Jahns drew attention to arsenic 
being present in glycerin — Chemische Zei- 

In 1889 Vulpius also drew attention to it 
— Apotheker Zeitung. 

Siebold (see Pharmaceutical Journal^ 
5th October, 1889) said, at the Pharmaceu- 
tical Conference, on the nth September, 
1889, that his experiments were made with 
toilet and pharmaceutical glycerin, and that 

the majority showed presence of arsenious 



acid, varying from i grain in 4,000 to i 
grain in 5,000. 

It may be pointed out that this is a lar- 
ger quantity than Mr. Davies found, which 
was only "about -^ oi 'a^ grain in ipoo 

The evidence relating to the administra- 
tion of glycerin was that of Nurse Gore and 
Nurse Gallery, and was to the efiFect that 
on Thursday night they refreshed James 
Maybrick's mouth with glycerin aTtd borax 
mixed in a saucer that was on the table in 
the sick-room, and that Mrs. Maybrick had 
brought the glycerin that was used either 
from the medicine cupboard in her room or 
from the washstand drawer. 

The attention of counsel is called to the 
fact that this saucer of mixed glycerin and 
borax which was actually used was not 
produced at the trial, but Justice Ste- 
phen, when summing up to the jury, said: 
" Then you get the blue bottle which con- 
tained Price's glycerin. Here is the bottle, 
which there is no evidence to show that 



Mrs. Maybrick had even seen or touched ; 
a considerable portion is still left. That 
glycerin was found in the lavatory outside, 
and if the bottle were filled and the same 
proportion of arsenic added, there would 
be two-thirds of a grain of arsenic in it. 
You have heard already that his mouth 
was moistened with glycerin and borax ap- 
parently the night before he died. If that 
be so, and the glycerin be really poison, it 
is certainly a very shocking result to arrive 
at." Sir Charles Russell: "I think the 
evidence of Nurse Gore is that the bottle 
that was used the night before was taken, 
not from the lavatory, but from the cup- 
board of the washstand.*' His Lordship : 
"It does not follow that that was the same 
bottle. One does not know the history of 
that bottle or where it went to. It may or 
may not have been the glycerin which was 
used for the purpose I have mentioned, 
namely, for moistening the lips. But it 
does appear in the case that a bottle was 
found in the lavatory, and that it contained 



a grain of arsenic, and that his mouth was 
moistened with glycerin and borax during 
the night in question ; but the identity be- 
tween that bottle and the bottle which con- 
tained the glycerin is not established and 
not proved/' 

It is submitted that the above was an 
unfair and inflammatory suggestion^ and 
amounts to a gross misdirection, especially 
after all the evidence about the condition 
of deceased's tongue and his complaining 
of a sensation as of a hair in his throat. 

This concludes the whole of the evidence 
to any articles containing arsenic which 
were found in the house, in which the ar- 
senic was present in anything except as un- 
weighable " traces'' [ 

Misdirection as to Evidence of 


Justice Stephen further summed up: 
" The witness (Dr, Stevenson) stated : ' I 
should say more arsenic was administered 







\\ Astor, Lenox and TMden 


on the 3d of May.' " It will be seen, by a 
reference to Dr. Stevenson's evidence, that 
Dr. Stevenson did not say this. 

Dr. Humphreys was the only medical 
man in attendance at that time. The only 
symptoms on Friday, the 3d, were that he 
had " vomited twice." At the inquest Dr. 
Humphreys said as to this: 

Q. "Did he say anything about his 
lunch on the previous day, Thursday, the 


A. "Yes; he said some inferior sherry 
had been put into it, and that it had made 
him as bad as ever again." 

And that also appears in Dr. Steven- 
son's evidence at the trial : 

"He told the doctor he had not been 
well since the previous day, when I learn 
he had his lunch at the office." 

It can not be suggested that the fact that 
the man vomited twice on Friday night 
was attributable to any arsenic taken at 
midday on Thursday, for Dr. Stevenson 
testified that the vomiting, which is a 
19 289 


symptom of arsenic, usually follows the ad- 
ministration in about half an hour. 

Dr. Carter, who was not called in to the 
patient until Tuesday, May 7th, in his evi- 
dence, however, suggested that : 

" I judge that the fatal dose must have 
been given on Friday, the 3d, but a dose 
might have been given after that. When 
he was so violently ill on the Friday, I 
thought it would be from the effects of the 
fatal dose, but there might have been sub- 
sequent doses " ; and in cross-examination 
he explained that he had made this sugges- 
tion about the fatal dose because : " I was 
told he was unable to retain anything on 
his stomach for several days." 

It is submitted that the judge, when 
summing up, misdirected the jury by ignor- 
ing entirely the evidence and substituting 
for it this reckless suggestion of Dr. Car- 



Misdirection as to Times When Arsenic 
May Have Been Administered 

The only occasions on which it was pos- 
sible to suggest any act of administration 
of arsenic were the medicine on the 27th 
of April and the food at the office on May 
ist and May 2d; and the judge told the 

" The argument that the prisoner admin- 
istered the arsenic is an argument depend- 
ing upon the combination of a great variety 
of circumstances of suspicion. The theory 
is that there was poisoning by successive 
doses, and it is rather suggested that there 
may have been several doses. But I do 
not know that there was any effort made to 
point out the precise times at which doses 
may have been administered." 

Under such circumstances it is submit- 
ted that the statement of the judge as to 
the medicine on the 27th of April, and as 
to the food at office, and as to the state- 
ment that " Friday (3d May) was the day 



on which began the symptoms of what may 
be called the fatal dose," are misdirections 
of vital importance to this case^ and such as 
to entitle Mrs. Maybrick to have the ver- 
dict set aside and have a new trial ordered. 

Misdirection as to Mrs. Maybrick's 
Changing Medicine Bottles 

As regards the question of attempts to 
administer arsenic, the occasions upon 
which such conduct was imputed are 
changing medicine from one bottle into 
another and the Valentine's meat juice. 
As regards the changing the bottle, there 
were two occasions when evidence was 
given as to Mrs. Maybrick's doing this. 
The first was on the 7th of May, when 
Alice Yapp said that some of the medi- 
cines were kept on a table near the bed- 
room door and some in the bedroom, and 
that on Tuesday, 7th of May, she saw Mrs. 
Maybrick on the landing near the bedroom 

door, and what was she doing? She was 



apparently pouring something out of one 
bottle into another. They were medicine 

That is the whole evidence as to the in- 
cident, and as all the bottles in the house 
were analyzed, and none found to contain 
even a trace of arsenic except the Clay and 
Abraham's bottle— which James Maybrick 
was not taking at that time— the judge 
could not properly direct the jury to re- 
gard it as a matter of suspicion ; but he did 
do so. He referred to this incident thus : 

" On the 28th April (the day after the 
Wirrall Races) Mrs. Maybrick sent for Dr. 
Humphreys, and afterward she was seen 
pouring medicine from one bottle into an- 

It is submitted that this was a serious 

The other occasion was on Friday, the 
loth of May, when Michael Maybrick, see- 
ing Mrs. Maybrick changing a medicine 
from one bottle to another in the bedroom, 
took the bottles away and had the prescrip- 



tion made up again, saying: " Florrie, how 
dare you tamper with the medicine?" 
Mrs. Maybrick explained that she was only 
putting the medicine into a larger bottle 
because there was so much sediment. 
Nurse Gallery was present and there was 
no concealment about what she was doing, 
and the bullying conduct of Michael was 
absolutely without any sort of justification. 
These bottles were analyzed and found to 
be harmless. 

Mr. Justice Stephen turned this incident, 
which occurred on the afternoon before 
death, and after she had been prevented 
from attending on her husband, against 
Mrs. Maybrick, thus — quoting Michael's 
evidence: "In the bedroom I found Mrs. 
Maybrick pouring from one bottle into an- 
other and changing the labels, and I said, 
* Florrie, how dare you tamper with the 
medicine ? ' " And Justice Stephen contin- 
ued : " Verily, this was a strange — I don't 
say strange considering the circumstances 

— but dreadfully unwelcome remark to 



make to a lady in her own house, when she 
was in attendance on her husband, and 
something which 'showed the state of feel- 
ing in his mind, and must have attracted 
her attention." It is submitted that this 
was a misdirection. 

Misdirection as to Administration with 

Intent to Kill 

There was also an attempt by the prose- 
cution to suggest an attempt to administer 
medicine, arising out of an occasion when 
James May brick said to her, "You have 
given me the wrong medicine again," from 
which it appears that on the Friday, the 
day before death, Mrs. Maybrick was not 
giving him anything at all, but was trying 
to get him to take some medicine from 
Nurse Gallery, who was endeavoring to 
induce him to take it. This was one of 
the medicines ordered by Dr. Humphreys, 
and was found free from arsenic. The 
judge did not refer to this in his summing- 



up, but reference to it is introduced here 
because it exhausts the whole evidence, 
with the exception of the Valentine's meat 
juice incident, as to any suggestions or 
even of any occasions of attempt to admin- 
ister, while Mr. Matthews advised the 
Queen that " the evidence leads clearly to 
the conclusion that the prisoner adminis- 
tered and attempted to administer arsenic 
to her husband with intent to murder," 
which formed his ground for consigning 
this woman to penal servitude for life. 
No evidence^ either of any act of adminis- 
tration or of any act of attempt to adminis- 
ter either with or without felonious attempts 
was given at the trials which possibly could 
have led any person to any such conclusion^ 
with the single exception of the Valen- 
tine's meat juice ; and as none of that was 
administered after it had been in Mrs. 
Maybrick's hands, the utmost that could 
be said of it (assuming that she did put any 
arsenic into it) is that it was an attempt to 
administer, either feloniously or otherwise. 



It is submitted that the judge misdirected 
the jury as to this incident, in that he did 
not tell them that the mere evidence of an 
attempt to administer arsenic was not suffi- 
cient — that they must be satisfied that the 
attempt to administer was with a mens rea 
and with an intent to murder. 

Exclusion of Prisoner's Testimony 

Mrs. Maybrick voluntarily told her solic- 
itors, Mr. Arnold and Mr. Richard Cleaver, 
directly she was arrested and even be- 
fore the inquest, that she had, at her hus- 
band's urgent request, put a powder into a 
bottle of Valentine's meat juice, but that 
she did not know, until Mrs. Briggs in- 
formed her that arsenic had been found in 
a bottle of meat juice, that the powder she 
had put in was assumably arsenic. [At 
the trial both Mr. Richard and Mr. Arnold 
Cleaver, her solicitors, offered to give evi- 
dence to this effect, but Justice Stephen 
refused to admit it.] She also tried to tell 



Mrs. Briggs the same thing, but the police- 
man stopped the conversation; and she 
also told it to her mother on her arrival. 
Mrs. Maybrick made no attempt at con- 
cealment about having put this powder in, 
although no one had seen her do it, and 
her solicitors, instead of relying as a line of 
defense on showing there was no "mens 
rea " in what she had done, kept back her 
account of what she had done. At the 
trial, however, after all the evidence for the 
prosecution had been concluded without a 
single witness speaking of her having put 
anything into anything, she insisted on tell- 
ing the jury, as she had told her solicitors, 
that she did put a powder into a bottle of 
meat juice, in accordance with an urgent 
request of her husband's, but that she did 
not know it was arsenic. If she did not 
know, there was no "mens rea." Uix)n 
that evidence, and upon certain suspicious 
circumstances connected with her conduct 
in taking the meat juice into the dressing- 
room and replacing it in the bedroom, the 



judge, as it is submitted, misdirected the 
jury in the following passage: 

" Mr. Michael Maybrick says : ' Nothing 
was given to my brother out of that.' That 
is to say, nothing was given to him out of 
the bottle of Valentine's meat juice, which 
undoubtedly had arsenic in it. Its pres- 
ence was detected, but of that bottle which 
was poisoned he certainly had none. He 
had a small taste of it before it was poisoned^ 
gfiven him by Nurse Gore." 

It is submitted that the words "before it 
was poisoned " is a gross misdirection. 

Misdirection as to Identity of Meat- 
Juice Bottle 

It may be convenient here to interpose 
the following remarks on the subject of the 
identity of the bottle. Counsel will ob- 
serve that the judge referred to the evi- 
dence at the inquest and at the magisterial 
inquiry, which, it is suggested, enables a 
reference to any discrepancies in the evi- 




dence of the witnesses on the three occa- 
sions — inquest, magisterial inquiry, and 

The identity of the half-used bottle, 
which was found to contain " half a grain 
of arsenic in solution," with the bottle 
which Mrs. Maybrick took into the dress- 
ing-room, was not proved. It was assumed 
alike by the prosecution and the defense, 
and by Mrs. Maybrick herself, but it was 
not proved. It was proved that there was 
another half-used bottle, of which James 
Maybrick had partaken on Monday, 6th of 
May, when Dr. Humphreys said: 

"Some of the Valentine's meat juice 
had been taken, but it did not agree with 
the deceased and made him vomit. Wit- 
ness did not remember him vomiting in his 
presence, but he complained of it. Wit- 
ness told deceased to stop the Valentine's 
meat juice, and said he was not surprised 
at it making Mr. Maybrick sick, as it made 
many people sick." 

There was, therefore, another half-used 



bottle. The attention of counsel is strong- 
ly directed to the question of the identity 
of this half-used bottle. 

Besides the one in which the arsenic was 
detected, there was another half-used bottle 
produced at the trial, which was found by 
Mrs. Briggs after death in one of James 
Maybrick's hatboxes in the dressing-room, 
together with the black solutions and white 
solutions of arsenic, and this bottle was 
found free of arsenic. 

As to the bottle which Mrs. Maybrick 
had in her hands on the night of the 9th- 
loth of May, and which she took into the 
dressing-room, and as to which she volun- 
teered the statement that she had put a 
powder in, as to which evidence was given 
by Nurse Gore, was thus voluntarily cor- 
roborated by Mrs. Maybrick in her state- 
ment to the jury. From this it appears 
that Nurse Gore, on her arrival for duty 
on Thursday night, opened a fresh bottle 
of meat juice, which had been given to her 
the night before by Edwin Maybrick, and 



gave the patient one or two spoonfuls, arv 
then placed it on the table, from which sH< 
shortly afterward saw Mrs. Maybrick 
move it and take it into the dressing-roo] 
the door of which was not shut, and thei 
return with it into the bedroom and r^ 
place it on the table. Nurse Gore thoughl 
she did this in a stealthy way. It must hi 
remembered that Nurse Gore was naturally 
suspicious, as is shown by the fact that on 
two previous occasions she suggested sus- 
picions with regard to changes in medi- 
cines by Mrs. Maybrick, which on analy- 
sis were proved to be free from arsenic. 
When the patient, a short time afterward, 
awoke, Mrs. Maybrick came into the bed- 
room again and removed the bottle from the 
table and placed it on the washstand, where 
there were only the ordinary jugs and ba- 
sins, and there left it. Nurse Gore's usual 
suspicions were aroused and she gave the 
patient none of it, nor did Mrs. Maybrick 
ask her to give him any. When Nurse 
Gore was relieved by Nurse Gallery the 



lext morning (Friday, the loth), at ii 
>'clock, she called her attention to it and 
isked her to take a sample ofit^ which Cal- 
iery did, and put it into an ordinary medi- 
nne bottle, which Nurse Gore gave her for 
the purpose. Nurse Gore left the bottle 
Dn the washstand where Mrs. Maybrick 
had placed it. Nurse Gore did not men- 
tion the circumstance to Dr. Humphreys 
when he carne to see the patient at 8:30 
A.M., nor to Michael Maybrick, whose at- 
tention she directed to a bottle of brandy 
instead, which on analysis was found harm- 
less ; and she then went into Liverpool and 
saw the matron, and on her return to the 
house at 2 o'clock told Gallery to throw 
away the sample in accordance with the 
matron's orders, which Gallery did. The 
bottle in which that sample was taken was 
not specially identified, though it must 
have remained on the premises. It ought 
to have been produced, because, if arsenic 
was detected in the sample, the bottle of 
Valentine's meat juice would have been 


. I 


identified by that meians, and it would have 
been shown that the arsenic was in the 
meat juice which Mrs. Maybrick had taken 
into the dressing-room. On the other 
hand, as all the bottles which were iti the 
house were analyzed and found free of at- 
senic, there is negative evidence that there 
was ho arsenic in the sample taken. 

Misdirection in Excluding CoRkoBORA- 
TioN OF Prisoner's Statement 

Now the feerious, most serious, consider- 
ation of counsel is asked for in comparing 
the evidence of these three witnesses — 
Gotiej Gallery, and Michael Maybrick — as 
given at the coroner's inquest, as it appears 
in the coroner's depositions, at the magis- 
terial inquiry, as it appears in the magis- 
trates' depositions, and as given at the trial. 
It will be seen that there are great discrep- 
ancies as to the place in the room from 
which Michael Maybrick took the half-used 
bottle itt which Mr. Davies, the analyst, 



subsequently detected one-tenth of a grain 
€^ arsenic in solution. It is suggested that 
Mr. Michael's evidence at the inquest is 
the true account of where he got the bottle, 
and that his evidence at the trial is cooked, 
to suit the evidence of Gore, and that the 
iiientity of the bottle is not established. The 
statement, which in her statement to the 
jury Mrs. Maybrick said she was prevented 
by the policeman from making to Mrs. 
Briggs, the moment that person told her 
about arsenic being found in the meat 
juice, was communicated by Mrs. Maybrick 
at once to her solicitors, Mr. Arnold and 
Richard Cleaver; and it is submitted that 
it was a misdirection of the judge to ex- 
clude their evidence in corroboration of 
such a material and important fact in her 
favor, and a misdirection in refusing to al- 
low corroboration in that way of what was 
in evidence, and did corroborate it — there- 
by constituting a matter which the jury 
should have had before them, as having a 
bearing on her statement, 
ao 305 



Misdirections to Jury to Draw Illegal 


The judge referred to the Valentine's 
meat-juice incident, the most vital point in 
the trial, in the following extraordinary 
manner at the end of his summing-up : 

" I may say this, however : supposing 
you find a man dying of arsenic, and it is 
proved that a person put arsenic in his 
plate, and if he gives an explanation which 
you do not consider satisfactory — that is a 
very strong question to be considered- 
how far it goes, what its logical value is, I 
am not prepared to say — I could not say, 
and unless I had to write my verdict I 
should not say how I should deal with the 
verdict; but being no juryman, but only a 
judge, I can only say this, it is a matter for 
your serious consideration." 

It is submitted that this was a gross mis- 
direction and a cruel taunt to drive the jury 
into finding a verdict against the prisoner 



upon that ground, and it is submitted that 
so monstrously unfair an utterance can not 
be Jhund in the reports of any summing-up 
by any judge in any criminal case. See 
also another misdirection where the judge 
read the examination of Nurse Gore and 
omitted reference to the sample, but said of 
the bottle, "In point of fact, it remained 
where it was until taken away by Mr. Mi- 
chael Maybrick," when it is in evidence 
that Nurse Gallery had taken a sample of 
it during the eighteen hours it remained 
on the washstand, and that others beside 
Mrs. Maybrick had access to it. 

It is submitted that, apart from the ques- 
tion of the identity of the bottle, there was 
no evidence, except Mrs. Maybrick's state- 
ment, that she had put anything into the 
bottle, which justified Mr. Justice Stephen 
in using the words, " He had a small taste 
of it bejore it was poisoned," inasmuch as, 
except Mrs. Maybrick's own voluntary 
statement that she had put a powder into 
a bottle of meat juice, there was nothing to 




show that the arsenic, detected by Mr. 
Davies in the bottle he analyzed, had not 
been in the bottle when Edwin Maybrick 
gave it to Nurse Gore and which she 
opened when she gave the patient " one or 
two spoonfuls." 

Another misdirection in reference to the 
meat-juice incident will be found in the 
summing-up in the words : 

" It has a sort of very remote bearing 
upon the statement which she made on 

Instead of " a sort of very remote bear- 
ing," it was a matter of the greatest impor- 
tance that it should be shown that at the 
very instant she heard that arsenic had 
been found in some meat juice, before 
even the inquest, and before any arsenic 
had been found in the body^ she should 
have attempted to tell Mrs. Briggs that 
she had put a powder into some meat 
juice, but did not know what it was ; and, 
in connection with this, the attention of 

counsel is called to the fact that Mr. Justice 



Stephen refused to allow evidence showing 
that she had made this statement from the 
very first. 

Misdirections Regarding the Medical 


As to the cause of James Maybrick's 
death, there was a most remarkable con- 
flict of medical opinion. It was not un- 
til the post-mortem examination, held on 
Monday, the 13th of May, by Drs. Carter 
and Humphreys (the medical men who 
had attended the deceased during his ill- 
ness), and Dr. Barron, that the cause of 
death was ascertained, and it was then 
found to be exhaustion, caused by gastro- 
enteritis or acute inflammation of the stom- 
ach and intestines, which, in their opinion, 
had been set up by an irritant poison, but 
might have been set up by his getting wet 

These doctors agreed that by the phrase 
" irritant poison " they meant any unwhole- 
some food or drink. 




Up to the time of death the doctors, 
Messrs. Humphreys and Carter, had sup- 
posed and treated the patient for dyspep- 
sia, notwithstanding that suggestions had 
been made to them by Michael Maybrick 
that the patient was being poisoned ; and 
they said in their evidence that but for the 
discovery of arsenic on the premises^ they 
would have given a certificate of death /ram 
natural causes. 

At the post-mortem examination they 
selected such portions of the body for an- 
alysis as they considered necessary, includ- 
ing, among other things, the stomach and 
its contents ; and the analyst employed by 
the police (Mr. Yy^svt^ found no arsenic in 
the stomach or its contents^ and was unable 
to discover any weighable traces of arsenic 
in any other portions of the body. 

About three weeks afterward the body 
was, by order of the Home Secretary, 
exhumed, and fresh portions of it were 
taken for analysis, some of which were 
examined by Mr. Davies and other parts 



by Dr. Stevenson, one of the Crown an- 

In those portions taken at the exhuma- 
tion, the total result of the search for ar- 
senic in the body was that Mr. Davies ac- 
tually found unweighable arsenic, i-^ of a 
grain, in the liver, and Dr. Stevenson Yihf 
of a grain in the liver and yfro^ i^i the intes- 
tines, making, when all added together, the 
total amount as found by Mr. Davies and 
Dr. Stevenson about one-tenth of a grain, 
made up of minute fractional portions of 
one-hundredths and one-thousandths. 

It was shown in evidence that the small- 
est fatal dose of arsenic ever recorded was 
two grains, which was in the case of a 
woman, and who presumably was not an 

It was shown in evidence that in the year 
1888 Mrs. Maybrick had asked Dr. Hopper 
(who was at that time, and had been for 
many years, their regular medical attend- 
ant) to speak to Mr. Maybrick and prevent 
him taking certain medicines, which were 



doing him harm ; that early in March she 
made the same appeal to Dr. Humphreys, 
suggesting at the time that Mr. Maybrick 
was taking a white powder^ which she 
thought was strychnin. 

At the magisterial inquiry Dr. Hum- 
phreys stated that Mrs. Maybrick had, on 
the occasion of his being called in to the 
patient on the 28th of April, also spoken 
to him about her husband taking this white 
powder, and that in consequence of this he 
asked Mr. Maybrick about taking strych- 
nin and nux vomica. 

Counsel will find proof, in the evidence 
given at the trial by Dr. Hopper, Mr. 
Heaton, Nicholas Bateson, Esq., Capt. 
Richard Thompson, Thomas Stansell, and 
Sir James Poole, ex-Mayor of Liverpool, as 
to the arsenic habit of James Maybrick and 
his opportunities for obtaining the drug. 
[To which must now be added the statuto- 
ry declaration of Valentine Charles Blake, 
son of the late Sir Valentine Blake, M.P., 
that he, about two months prior to Mr. 



Maybrick's death, had procured him 150 
grains of arsenic] It may be stated here 
that from the appearance of the little bot- 
tles in which the white arsenic was found, 
they had been in use for a long time and 
were such as would be found as sample 
bottles in the offices of business houses to 
which it is unlikely Mrs. Maybrick would 
have access. 

It is submitted that the discovery of 
such a tiny quantity of arsenic in the body 
of a man addicted to such extraordinary 
habits might reasonably be accounted for 
by those habits. 

Conflict of Medical Opinion 

The conflict of medical opinion which 
was exhibited on this trial arose upon the 
point as to whether arsenic had been the 
cause of the gastro-enteritis, of which it 
was admitted that the man died. 

There was no conflict of medical opinion 
on the facts that the quantity found in the 



body was insufficient to cause deaths nor that 
gastro-enteritis might be set up by a vast 
variety of things besides arsenic — in fact, by 
any impure food or by excessive alcohol 
or by getting wet through. It was shown 
in evidence that Mr. Maybrick got wet 
through at the Wirrall Races on the 27th of 
April, and that he afterward went in his 
wet clothes to dinner at a friend's .on the 
other side of the Mersey. 

The conflict of medical opinion amount- 
ed to this, that the Crown called Drs. Car- 
ter and Humphreys, who both admitted 
that they had never previously attended a 
case of arsenical poisonings nor had ever be- 
fore attended a post-mortem examination of 
a person whose death had been attributed to 
arsenic — in short, that they had had no ex- 
perience whatever. The Crown also called 
Dr. Stevenson (who had not attended the 
deceased, but had conducted the analysis 
of parts of the body) as an expert in poi- 
soning, and he said, as to the symptoms 
during life : *' There is no distinctive diag- 



nostic symptom of arsenical poisoning. 
The diagnostic thing is finding the ar- 

The Crown also had Dr. Barron, who 
had attended the post-mortem, and who ex- 
pressed himself unable to say that arsenic 
was the cause of the gastro-enteritis. 

These witnesses, it may be observed, 
gave their evidence both as to the symph 
toms during life and as to the appearances 
at the post-mortem before the medical evi- 
dence for the defense had been called. 

The witnesses called for the defense had 
none of them attended the deceased, but 
were called as experts in poisoning, viz.. 
Dr. Tidy, a Crown analyst. Dr. Macna- 
mara, and Professor Paul, who all gave 
positive evidence that neither the symp- 
toms during life nor the appearance after 
death were such as could be attributed to 
arsenical poisoning; that, in fact, they 
pointed away from ^ instead of toward, ar- 
senic being the cause of death. 

The evidence of these witnesses was 



summarized very fairly by Mr. Justice 

In the face of such a conflict of medical 
opinion, it is submitted that Mr. Justice 
Stephen should have refused to allow the 
jury to return any verdict of guilty at all. 

Misdirections as to Cause of Death 

On the first day of his summing-up, 
however, Mr. Justice Stephen told the jury 
as to the law under which they were to 
return their verdict : " You have been told 
that if you are not satisfied in your minds 
about poisoning — if you think he died 
from some other disease — then the case is 
not made out against the prisoner. It is 
a necessary step — it is essential to this 
charge — that the man died of poison^ and 
the poison suggested is arsenic. This is 
the question you have to consider, and it 
must be the foundation of a judgment un- 
favorable to the prisoner that he died of 




It is submitted that Mr. Justice Stephen 
tnisdirected the jury when he told them to 
satisfy their minds whether he died from 
any other disease, inasmuch as the only 
question before the jury was whether the 
cause of death was arsenic. 

" The question for you is by what the ill- 
ness was caused. Was it caused by arsenic 
or by some other means ? " 

It is submitted that that is a misdirection. 
It might have been put to a coroner's jury, 
but it was not a question which should 
have been put to a jury at a criminal trial. 

It is submitted that he misdirected the 
jury in not also telling them that it was es- 
sential to a verdict unfavorable to the pris- 
oner that the arsenic of which he died had 
been administered by hery and also in not 
telling the jury that it was essential to a 
verdict unfavorable to the prisoner that, if 
she had administered any, she had done it 
with intent to destroy life. 




Misdirection to Ignore Medical 


Mr. Justice Stephen then proceeded: 
"Now, let us see what the doctors say. 
Some say death was caused by arsenic, and 
others that it was not by arsenic — that he 
died of gastro-enteritis " ; and he spoke of 
the medical evidence in a way which 
amounted to a direction to the jury that 
they were to treat it as tainted with subtle 
partizanship ^ and as evidence to which it 
was not necessary for them to attach seri- 
ous importance. He, in fact, stated, and in 
so doing misdirected the jury, that though 
it was essential to a verdict unfavorable 
to the prisoner that he died of arsenic, that 
question was one which they, the jury, 
could come to their own opinion adouty 
without taking into consideration the opin- 
ion of the medical experts ^ who had posi- 
tively stated that arsenic was not the cause 
of death. In other words, he directed the 
jury that, as the medical experts could not 



agree that the cause of death was arsenical 
poisoning, it was for them to decide that 
question from their own ''knowledge of 
human nature r 

On the second day of the summing-up 
the judge told the jury (and it is submitted 
that it contains ^n?^^ misdirections): " You 
must consider the case as a mere medical 
case^ in which you are to decide whether 
the man did or did not die of arsenic ac- 
cording to the medical evidence. You 
must not consider it as ^^ mere chemical case^ 
in which you decide whether the man died 
from arsenic which was discovered as the 
result of a chemical analysis. You must 
decide it as a greats high, and important 
case^ involving in itself not only medical 
and chemical questions, but embodying in 
itself a most highly important m^yral gues- 
tion — and by that term, moral question, I 
do not mean a question of what is right 
and wrong in a moral point of view, but 
questions in which human nature enters 
and in which you must rely on your knowl- 



edge of human nature in determining the 
resolution you arrive at. 

" You have, in the first place, to consider 
— far be it from me to exclude or try to gret 
others to exclude from their own minds 
what I must feel myself vividly conscious 
of — the evidence in this matter. I think 
every human being in this case must feel 
vividly conscious of what you have to con- 
sider, but I had almost better say you 
ought not to consider, for fear you might 
consider it too much, the horrible nature 
of the inquiry in which you are engaged. 
I feel that it is a dreadful thing that you 
are deliberately considering whether you 
are to convict that woman of really as hor- 
ribly dreadful a crime as ever any poor 
wretch who stood in the dock was accused 
of. If she is guilty — I am saying if my 
object is rather to heighten your feeling of 
the solemnity of the circumstances, and in 
no way to prevent you from feeling as you 
do feel, and as you ought to feel. I could 
say a good many other things about the 




Astor, Lenox and TWen^ 


awful nature of the charge, but I do not 
thihk it will be necessary to do Any one 
thing. Your own hearts must tell you 
what it is for a petson to ^o on adininister- 
ing poison to a helplfess, sick mah, upon 
whotn she has already inflicted a dreadful 
injury — an injury fatal to married life ; the 
pefsoh who could do such a thing a$ that 
must be destitute of the least trace of hu- 
man feeling." And fUrthe'r on : " We have 
t6 consider this not in an Unfeeling spirit 
— ^f ar from it-^but in the spirit of people 
resolved to solve by mtellectuai nUans An 
intellecttcal probiem of great difficulty l' 

Mir. Justice Stephen, in short, instead 
of putting to the jury for separate answers 
each of the following three questions : 

1 . Did this matt die of arsenic 'i 

2. Did Mrs. Maybrick administer that 
Arsenic } 

3. Did she do it feloniously ? 

ittvited them to return a verdict of 

"guilty" or "'not guilty" upon a difectiott 

of law, wherein he told them that tiiey 
21 321 


were to decide it as an intellecttuil problem^ 
on the question which, it is submitted, can 
be formulated thus : 

" Might this man have died of arsenic 
notwithstanding the-opinion of the medical 
experts that he did not die of arsenic?" 
And the jury answered " Yes." 

It is submitted that this was a gross mts- 

It maybe interesting and applicable to 
quote from a paper read by Sir Fitzjames 
Stephen himself at the Science Associa- 
tion in 1884: " It is not to be denied that, 
so long as great ignorance exists on mat- 
ters of physical and medical science in all 
classes, physicians will occasionally have to 
submit to the mortification of seeing not 
only the jury, but the bar and bench it- 
self, receive with scornful incredulity or 
with self-satisfied ignorance evidence which 
ought to be received with respect and at- 
tention." How prophetic this was as ex- 
emplified by his own attitude in this trial 
need not be pointed out. 




Under the head of Misreception of Evi- 
dence may be classed the observations of 
the judge, where, apparently in order to 
prevent the jury from being influenced in 
favor of the prisoner ^ owing to the small 
quantity of arsenic found in the body of 
the deceased, he mentioned an instance of 
a /a&g" being poisoned, in the body of which, 
though it had taken a large number of 
grains of arsenic, no arsenic was found 
after its death. The judge, in other words, 
turned himself into a witness for the prose- 
cution. The unfairness to the prisoner of 
such a course is obvious. Had the judge 
been an ordinary witness he might have 
been cross-examined to show, e^.^ that 
zxsi^m.c passes away from the body of a dog 
much more quickly than from that of a 
man^ or that the circumstances as to time 
and quantity taken were such as to prove 
that there was no analogy between the two 
cases. As the matter stands, the judge's 



recollection of an experiment on a dog, 
which had been made many years before, 
was meant to rebut a proposition much re- 
lied on by the defense, viz., that the small 
quantity of arsenic found in the body of 
the deceased was consistent with the view 
that he was in the habit of taking arsenic^ 
rather than with the case for the Crown 
that he had been intentionally poisoned- 

Cruel Misstatement by the Coroner 

The inquest was formally opened by 
taking the evidence of the identification of 
the deceased by his brother, Michael May- 
brick, and then adjourned for a fortnight, 
the coroner announcing that there had 
been a post-mortem examination by Dr. 
Humphreys, and that the result of that ex- 
amination was that poison was found in the 
stomach of the deceased in such quantities 
as to justify further examination ; that the 
stomach of the deceased, and its contents, 
would meanwhile be chemically analyzed, 



and on the result of that analysis would 
depend the question whether or not crimi- 
nal proceedings against some person would 
fallow* Now the announcement that ** poi- 
son had been found in the stomach of the 
deceased " was cmiirary tajacty and in con- 
sequence of this cruel misstatement the pro- 
ceedings caused an immense amount of 
popular excitement and prejudice against 
the accused^ who, being too ill to be re* 
moved, remained at Battlecrease House, 
in charge of the police, till the following 
Saturday morning, the i8th May, when a 
sort of court inquiry was opened in Mrs. 
Mayhrick's bedroom by Colonel Kdwell, 
one of the county naagistrates. 

Medical Evidence for the Prosecution 

The evidence of Dr. Arthur Richard 
Hopper, who had been Mr. and Mrs^ May*- 
bricfc's meddcal adviser fox about seven 
years, was taken. He had not atteiaded 
Mr. Maybrick during his last illness^ but 




spoke about Mrs. Maybrick having asked 
him the year before to check her husband 
from taking dangerous drugSy and that Mr. 
Maybrick had admitted to him that he used 
to dose himself with anything his friends 
recommended, and that he was used to the 
taking of arsenic. 

Dr. Richard Humphreys spoke as to the 
symptoms of the illness and his prescrip- 
tions, and that he had not suspected poi- 
soning until it was suggested to him and 
his colleague. Dr. Carter, and that he had 
himself administered arsenic to the de- 
ceased, in the form of Fowler's solution, on 
the Sunday or Monday before death, and 
that he refused a certificate of death only 
because arsenic had been found on thepremr 

Dr. William Carter spoke of being called 
the Tuesday before death, and he agreed 
with Dr. Humphreys that an irritant poi- 
son, most probably arsenic, was the cause 
of death. 

Dr. Alexander Barron gave evidence to 



the effect that he was unable to ascertain 
any particular poison. 

Mr. Edward Davies, the analyst, was 
called, and gave evidence to the effect 
that he had found no weighable arsenic in 
the portions of the body selected at the 
post-mortem, but that he had subsequently 
found one fiftieth of a grain of arsenic in a 
part of the liver, nothing in the stomach or 
its contents^ but trcLceSy not weighable^ in the 
intestines, and that he had found arsenic in 
some of the bottles and things found in the 
house after death and in the Valentine's 
meat juice. 

The first issue which the jury at the trial 
had to determine was whether it was proved 
beyond reasonable doubt that the deceased 
died from arsenical poisoning. 

Mr. Justice Stephen, in his summing-up, 
put this issue to the jury in the following 
words : 

"It is essential to this charge that the 
man died of arsenic. This question must 
be the foundation of a verdict unfavor- 


Bible to the prisoner, that he died a/ ar- 


It must be assumed th^t this wa^ a ques- 
tion exclusively for niedics^l experts, not-, 
withstanding which the judge, in summing 
up, told the jury : 

" You must not consider this (^s a mere 
medical case^ in which you are to decide 
whether the man did or did nQt die of ar-. 
senic poisoning according; to the inedical evi- 
ctmce. You n^ust not consider it as a m^e 
chemical case, in which you decide whether 
the man diedjrom arsenic which was dis- 
covered as the result of a chemical analysis. 
You must decide it ^s a gnat and highly 
important ^ase, involving in itself not only 
medical s^nd chemical questions, but involve 
ing in itself a most highly in^port^nt moral 

Maybrick Died a Natural Death 

Dr, Humphreys gave it as his apinion 
that the appearances at the post^n^ortem 
were consistent wth congestion of the stom- 



ach not necessarily caus^ ky ^^ irritant 
poison, aiiidi that the symptoms during life 
were also consistent with congestion not 
caused by an irritant poison, but with acute 
inflammation of the stomach ^nd intes- 
tine^, prcMiuced by any cause whatever, and 
which would produce similar ps^thologica^ 
results. H^ thouight death wa^ caused by 
sonie irritant poison, most likely arsenic^ 
hut he wp^ld not like to swear thqt if 
%v(is. Dr, Humphreys' evidence, therefore, 
arnounted to this, that the deces^sed died 
fron^ gastro^enteritis, a natural disease, at- 
tributable tp ^ variety of causes, and that^ 
^part f rpn^ the suggestions already referred 
to, he would have certified ^accordingly, 

Dr, Humphrey Si' evidence was confirmed 
by that of Dr. Carter, who stated he came 
to the same conclusion as Dr. Humphreys, 
"hut in a more positive manner," Pr. 
Carter had assisted at the post-mprtem exr 
amin^tion, beside^ being in close attend- 
ance on the deceased for the five days pre-: 

ceding his death, which he attributed to 



taking some irritant wine or decomposed 
meat, or to some grave error of diet ; and 
when pressed as to whether he had any rea- 
son to suppose the article taken was poi- 
son, he explained that he did, but that by 
poison he meant something that was bad — 
it might be tinned meat, which the de- 
ceased had partaken of at the race dinner, 
or wine, or something which had set up 
gastritis. This witness's account of the 
post-mortem was that ^tyjaund no arse- 
ntCy but merely evidence of an irritant poi- 
son in the stomach and intestines, probably 
arsenic. Dr. Carter's evidence was there- 
fore against poisoning by arsenic being con- 
clusively accepted as the cause of death, 
although subsegtcently he said he had no 
doubt it was arsenic. 

Dr. Barron's evidence as to the cause of 
death was that he considered from the post- 
mortem appearances that death was due to 
inflammation of the stomach and bowels, 
due to some irritant poison, but that he 
was unable to point to the particular poi- 


Witness for the prosecuTioJj 

son, apart from what he heard; and, 
pressed as to what he meant by poison, the 
witness stated that poison might be bad 
tinned meat, bad fish, mussels, or generally 
bad food of any kind, or alcohol taken in 

The Chief Witness for the 

Dr. Stevenson expressed his opinion that 
the deceased died from arsenic poisoning, 
giving as his reasons that the main symp- 
toms were those attributable to an irritant 
poison, and that they more closely resem- 
bled those of arsenic than of any other 
irritant of which he knew. He stated that 
he had known a great number of cases of 
poisoning by arsenic in every shape, and 
that he acted officially for the Home Office 
and Treasury in such cases. Dr. Steven- 
son was the witness of the prosecution, and 
gave his evidence before he had heard the 
evidence for the defense. 

Dr. Stevenson also stated that the gen- 



eral symptoms of arsenic poisoning ap- 
peared within half an hour of taking some 
article of food or medicine, and were nau- 
sea, with a sinking sensation of the stom-r 
ach ; vomiting, which, unlike that produced 
by any ordinary article of food or drink 
that disagrees, afforded as a rule no relief 
and often came on again; that there was 
most commonly pain in the stomach, diar- 
rhea ; after a time the region of the stom- 
ach becomes tender under pressure, the 
patient becomes restless, often bathed in 
perspiration ; the throat is complained of ; 
pain in the throat, extending down to the 
stomach ; the tongue becomes very foul in 
appearance and furred. There is not a bad 
smell as in the ordinary dyspeptic tojc^ue, 
a rapi4 and feeble pulse, thirst, great straior 
ing at Sitool, vomits and evacuatioxis fre- 
quently stained with blood. €tf fourteea 
symptoma oi arsenic poisoning named by 
Dr. Stevenson, Mr. Maybrick exhibited 
only one, according to the testimony of Xh. 
Stevenson. With the exception oi the foul 



tongue with malodorous breath, none of 
these symptoms coincided with those given 
by Drs. Humphreys and Carter, who were 
in attendance on the patient, while Dr, 
Stevenson never saw him. 

Medical Evidence for Defense 

Then came the evidence for the defense, 
rebutting the presumption that death was 
caused by arsenic. First in order being 
Dr. Tidy, the examiner for forensic med- 
icine at the London Hospital, and also, 
like Dr. Stevenson, employed as an analyst 
by the Home Office. This witness stated 
that, within a few years, close upon forty 
cases of arsenical poisoning had come be- 
fore him, which enabled him to indicate 
the recurring and distinctive indications 
formed in such cases. 

Dr. Tidy describes the symptoms of ar- 
senic poisoning as purging and vomiting in 
a very excessive degree ; a burning pain in 
the abdomen, more marked in the pit of 



the stomach, and increased considerably by 
pressure, usually associated with pain in 
the calves of the legs ; then, after a certain 
interval, suffusion of the eyes — the eyes fill 
with tears ; great irritability about the eye- 
lids ; frequent intolerance of light. 

Dr. Tidy added that there were three 
symptoms, such as cramps, tenesmus, 
straining, more or less present, but the 
prominent symptoms were those he had 
mentioned, especially the sickness, violent, 
incessant sickness, and that poisoning by 
arsenic was extremely simple to detect. 
Further, that he (Dr. Tidy) had known 
cases where one or more of the four symp- 
toms mentioned had been absent, but he 
had never known a case in which all four 
symptoms were absent ; and stated that he 
had followed every detail of the Maybrick 
case so far as he could, and had read all the 
depositions before the coroner and magis- 
trate, and the account of the vomiting did 
not agree with his description of excessive 
and persistent vomiting, and was certainly 



not that kind of vomiting that takes place 
in a typical case of arsenical poisoning. 

Dr. Tidy further stated that, taking the 
whole of the symptoms, they undoubtedly 
were not those of arsenical poisoning, nor 
did they point to such, but were perfectly 
consistent with death from gastro-enteritis, 
not caused by arsenical poisoning at all; 
and that, had he been called upon to ad- 
vise, he should have said it was undoubted- 
ly not arsenical poisoning, and that his 
view had been very much strengthened, 
to use his own words, by the result of 
the post-mortem, which distinctly pointed 
away from arsenic. 

Then there was the evidence, in the 
same direction, of Dr. Macnamara, the 
president of the Royal College of Surgeons, 
and its representative on the General Med- 
ical Council of the Kingdom, which is 
summed up in the general question put to 
him and his answer : 

Question : Now, bringing your best judg- 
ment to bear on the matter — you having 



b^n pi'esent at the whole of this trial ahd 
heard the Evidence — in your opinion, Was 
this death from arsenical poisoning^ 

Answer: Certainly not. 

In ctioss^xaminatibh Dr. Macnamat^a 
stated that,- to Wife best of his judgmeilt, 
Mr. Maybrick died of g^astro-ehteritis, hot 
connected with arsehical poisoniilg, and 
which might have been Caused by thfe wet- 
ting at the Wirtall races. 

Dr. Paul, professor of medical jurispni- 
dehcfe at UttivetsityColfeg^e, Liveittool, artd 
pathologist it the Royal Ihfirtnary, stated 
he llad made aild Assisted at something like 
three or four thousand post-niortetti exaitti- 
nations, and that the syrtiploms in the |pfes- 
eirt case agreed With cases of gasirthenferi- 
tis pure and simple ; that the finding of the 
arsenic in the body, in the quantity men- 
tioned in the evidence, was quite t:onsisteht 
with the case of i man who had taken ar- 
senic medicinally, but mho had left it off 
f&r ^otne time^ even for several mdfiths. 



A ToxicoLOGiCAL Study 

So positive were Dr. Tidy and Dr. Mac- 
namara of their position as to the effect of 
arsenic on the human system, that they 
subsequently published "A Toxicological 
Study of the Maybrick Case," thus chal- 
lenging medical critics the world over to re- 
fute them. From this study the following, 
in tabular form, is taken, in order to con- 
tract the symptoms from which Mr. May- 
brick suffered with those which, it will be 
generally admitted, are the usual symptoms 
of arsenical poisoning : 

Arsenicai. Poisoning Mr. Maverick's Case 

Not so described. 

Countenance tells of severe suf- 

Very great depression an early 

Fire-burning pain in stomach. 

Pain in stomach increased on 

Violent and uncontrollable vom- 
iting independent of ingesta. 

Vomiting not relieved by such 
treatment as was used in Mr. 
May brick's case. 

Not present until to- 
ward the end. 

Not present. 

Pressure produced no 

" Hawking rather than 
vomiting ;" irritability 
of stomach increased 
by ingesta. 

Vomiting controlled by 

22 337 


Arsenical Poisoning Mr. Maybrick's Case 

During vomiting burning heat 

and constriction felt in throat. 
Blood frequently present in 

vomited and purged matter. 
Intensely painful cramps in 

calves of the legs. 
Pain in lu-inating. 
Puiging and tenesmus an early 


Great intolerance of light. 
Eyes suffused and smarting. 
Eyeballs inflamed and reddened. 
Eyelids intensely itchy. 
Rapid and painful respiration 

an early symptom. 
Pulse small, frequent, irregular, 

and imperceptible from the 

Arsenic easily detected in urine 

and faeces. 
Tongue fiery red in its entirety, 

or fiery red at tip and margins 

and foul toward base. 
Early and remarkable reduction 

of temperature generally. 

Not present. 
Not present. 
Not present. 

Not present. 

Not present until 
twelfth day of iUness, 
and then once only. 

Not present. 

Not present. 

Not present. 

Not present. 

Not present. 

Not so described until 
approach of death. 

Not detected, although 
looked for. 

Tongue not red ; " sim- 
ply filthy." 

Temperature normal up 
to day preceding 

" Maybrick's symptoms are as unlike poi- 
soning by arsenic as it is possible Jor a case 
of dyspepsia to be. Everything distinctive 
of arsenic is absent. The urine contained 
no arsenic. The symptoms are not even 
consistent with arsenical poisoning. 

" Regarding the treatment adopted by 



the medical men, and more especially Dr. 
Carter's action with regard to the meat 
juice, we are justified in assuming that the 
doctors themselves, even after a certain 
suggestion had been made to them, did not 
come to the conclusion that the illness of 
Maybrick was the result of arsenic. 

"It is noteworthy (i) that none was 
found in the stomach; (2) that Maybrick 
was in the habit of taking drugs, and 
among them arsenic. 

" Thus two conclusions are forced upon 

"(i) That the arsenic found in May- 
brick's body may have been taken in mere- 
ly medicinal doses, and that probably it 
was so taken. 

"(2) That the arsenic may have been 
taken a considerable time before either his 
death or illness, and that probably it was 
so taken. 

" Our toxicological studies have led us to 
the three following conclusions : 

" (i) That the symptoms from which 
Maybrick suffered are consistent with any 
form of acute dyspepsia, but that they 
point away from, rather than toward, ar- 



senic as the cause of such dyspeptic con- 

" (2) That the post-mortem appearances 
are indicative of inflammation, but that 
they emphatically point away from arsenic 
as the cause of death, 

" (3) That the analysis fails to find more 
than one- twentieth part of a fatal dose of 
arsenic, and that the quantity so found is 
perfectly consistent with its medicinal in- 

The Medical Weakness of the 

Such was the complete evidence of the 
cause of death. The quantity of arsenic 
found in the body was ane-tenth of a grain, 
and upon this evidence rests the first issue 
the jury had to consider, namely, whether 
it was proved beyond reasonable doubt that 
the deceased died from arsenical poisoning. 

As to the value of the medical testimony 
on both sides, Dr. Humphreys admitted 
that he never attended a ^ase of arsenical 


poisoning in his life, nor of any irritant poi- 
son, and that he would have given a certifi- 
cate of death from natural causes had he 
not been told of arsenic found in the meat 

Dr. Carter laid no claim to any previous 
experience of poisoning by arsenic^ and was 
unable to say from the post-mortem exam- 
ination that arsenic was the cause of death, 
which he could only attribute to an irritant 
of some kind, and he admitted that it was 
the evidence of Mr. Davies, as to the find- 
ing of arsenic in the body, which led him 
to the conclusion that arsenical poisoning 
had taken place. 

Dr. Barron did not see the patient, but 
assisted at the post-mortem examination, 
and stated that, judging by the appear- 
ances and apart from what he had heard, 
he was unable to identify arsenic as the 
particular poison which had set up the in- 

Now, assuming for a moment that this 
issue as to the cause of death rested en- 



tirely upon the uncontradicted testimony 
of these three doctors called for the prose- 
cution, Humphreys, Carter, and Barron, 
the jury would not have been justified in 
coming to the conclusion that there was 
no reasonable doubt that arsenic poisoning 
was the cause of death. The doctors them- 
selves had admitted that they were unable 
to arrive at that conclusion, apart from the 
evidence that arsenic was found in the 
body. The idea of arsenical poisoning 
never occurred to them from the symptoms^ 
until the use of arsenic was first sug- 

The doctors could not say that death re- 
sulted from arsenic poisoning, and yet the 
jury have actually found that it didy in the 
face of the opinions of three eminent medi- 
cal experts, who say it did not. 

Even if these doctors had never been 
called at all for the defense, the jury were 
yet not justified in taking the evidence of 
Drs. Humphreys, Carter, and Barron, in 
the terms which they themselves never in- 



tended to pledge themselves to, namely, to 
exclude a reasonable doubt that death was 
due to arsenic. 

Let us consider the position of the medi- 
cal men called for the defense : Drs. Tidy, 
Macnamara, and Paul are the highest au- 
thorities on medical and chemical jurispru- 
dence in Great Britain. No sort of hesita- 
tion or doubt attached to the opinions of 
any of them, and their experience of post- 
mortem examinations was referred to, as 
including in the practise of Dr, Tidy, the 
Crown analyst, some forty cases of arsenic 
poisoning alone. Dr. Macnamara in- 
dorsed the opinion of Dr. Tidy. In addi- 
tion to that, there was on the same side the 
evidence of Dr. Paul, professor of medical 
jurisprudence and toxicology at University 
College, Liverpool, with an experience of 
three or four thousand post-mortem exami- 
nations. It is impossible to conjecture by 
what process of reasoning the jury could 
have come to the conclusion, upon the evi- 
dence before them, that it was beyond a 



reasonable doubt that Mr. Maybrtck had 
met his death by arsenical poisoning* 

This volume of evidence before ths jury 
pointed not only to a doubt as to the cause 
of deaths but to a reasonable conclusion that 
it was not due to arsenical poisoning. It is 
inconceivable that the jury should have 
found as they did, except under the mancUb- 
tory direction of the judge ^ which left them 
apparently no alternative but to substitute 
his opinions and judgment for their own, 
so that on that issue the finding was not so 
much the finding of the jury^ to which the 
prisoner was by law entitled^ but the finding 
^the judge, of whom the jury ^ abrogating 
their own functions^ became the mere mouth' 

The: Administration of Arsenic 

The consideration of the facts as given 
in evidence also covers the second issue 
which the jury had to determine, namely, 
whether, if arsenic poisoning was the cause 
of death, it was the prisoner who adminis- 



tered it with criminal intent. The evidence 
on this point was most inconclusive. 

No one saw the prisoner administer ar^ 
senic to her husband. 

She had no opportunity of giving her 
husband anything since one or two o'clock 
on Wednesday afternoon (8th of May), af- 
ter which she was closely watched by the 
nurses. It was not shown that any food or 
drink administered to the deceased by the 
Prisoner contained arsenic. It was not 
shown that the prisoner had placed arsenic 
in any Jood or drink intended Jor her hus- 
band's use. Nor, in fact, was any found, 
although searched for, in any food or medi- 
cine of which Mr. Maybrick partook during 
his illness, except the arsenic in Fowler's 
solution ^Prescribed and administered by Dr. 
Humphreys himself. 

The Fly-Paper Episode 

The episode of the fly-papers may be 
considered as one of the most important 
factors in the whole case. It supplies, so 



to speak, the only link between Mrs. May- 
brick and arsenic, which, it is well known, 
forms their chief ingredient. It was proved 
she had purchased the fly-papers without 
any attempt at concealment, and, while 
soaking, they were exposed to everybody's 
view, quite openly, in a room accessible to 
every inmate of the house. It was not 
suggested that Mrs. Maybrick bought the 
other large quantity of arsenic, between sev- 
enty and eighty grains, found in the house 
after death, and no one came forward to 
speak to any such purchase. It was found 
in the most unlikely places for Mrs. May- 
brick to have selected, if she had intended 
to use it, and the evidence against her on 
this point is of a particularly vagu^ and 
indefinite character. [Justice Stephen, 
commenting on the quantity of arsenic 
found on the premises, himself observed 
that it was a remarkable fact in the case, 
and which, it appeared to him, told most 
favorably than otherwise for the prisoner, 
as in the whole case, from first to last, there 



was no evidence at all that she had bought 
any poison, or had anything to do with the 
procuring of any, with the exception of 
those fly-papers.] The accusation rests 
entirely on suspicion^ insinuation^ and cir- 
cumstantial suggestions ; not one tittle of 
evidcTue was adduced in support of it^ and 
yet the jury came to the conclusion, with- 
out allowing of any doubt in the matter, 
that it was her hand which administered the 

How Mrs. Maybrick Accounts for the 


On this question the prisoner made a 
statement. She accounted for the soaking 
of the fly-papers upon grounds which were 
not only probable, but were corroborated 
by other incidents. That she was in the 
habit of using arsenic as a face wash is 
shown by the prescription in 1878, before 
her marriage, and of which the chemist 
made an entry in his books, which came to 



light, after the trial, under the following 

Among the few articles which Mn May- 
brick's brothers allowed to be taken from 
the house, they being the legatees of the 
deceased, was a Bible which had belonged 
to Mrs. Maybrick's father, and which, with 
some other relics, came into the hands of 
Mrs, Maybrick's mother, the Baroness von 
Roques, who, months afterward, happening 
to turn over the leaves of the Bible, came 
across a small piece of printed paper, evi- 
dently mislaid there, being a New York 
chemist's label, with a New York doctor's 
prescription written on the back, for an ar- 
senical face wash " for external use, to be 
applied with a sponge twice a day." 

This prescription contained Fowler's 
solution of arsenic, chlorate of potash, rose- 
water, and rectified spirits ; and was again 
made up, on the 17th of July, 1878, by 
a French chemist, Mr. L. Brouant, 81 
Avenue D'Eylau, Paris. It corroborates 
Mrs, Maybrick's statement at the trial 



that the fly-papers were being soaked for 
the purpose alleged by her. If Mrs. May- 
brick had obtained or purchased the sev- 
enty or eighty grains of arsenic found in 
the house after the death, it is inconceiva- 
ble that she should have openly manufac- 
tured more arsenic with the fly-papers. At 
the time she prepared the statement she 
had reason to believe that the prescription 
had been lost. She knew, therefore, it 
would be impossible for her to corroborate 
her story about the face wash, and she 
could have omitted that incident alto- 
gether, and contented herself by saying 
that she learned the preparation while at 
school in Germany. 

[In further explanation I desire to state 
that during my girlhood, as well as subse- 
quently, I suffered occasionally, due to gas- 
tric causes, from an irritation of the skin. 
One of my schoolmates, observing that it 
troubled me a good deal, offered me a face 
lotion of her own preparation, explaining 
that it was much more difficult to obtain 



an arsenical ingredient abroad than in 
America, and to avoid any consequent an- 
noyance she extracted the necessary small 
quantity of arsenic by the soaking of fly- 
papers. I had never had occasion to do so 
myself, as I had a prescription from Dr. 
Bay; but when I discovered that I had 
mislaid or lost this, I recalled the method 
of my friend, being, however, wholly igno- 
rant of what quantity might be required. 
The reason why I wanted a cosmetic at 
this time was that I was going to a fancy 
dress ball with my husband's brother, and 
that my face was at that time in an uncom- 
fortable state of irritation. — F. E. M.] 

Administration of Arsenic not Proved 

Dealing with the question, did Mrs. 
Maybrick administer the arsenic, there is 
absolutely no evidence that she did. It 
was not for the prisoner to prove her inno- 
cence. She was seen neither to administer 
the arsenic nor to put it in the food or 



drink taken by the deceased, and this issue 
was found against her in the absence of 
any evidence in support. 

Intent to Murder not Proved 

Mrs. Maybrick's statement also bears 
strongly upon the question of administer- 
ing with intent to murder. It is equally 
inconceivable that a guilty woman would 
have said anything about the white powder 
in the meat juice. She had nothing to 
gain by making such a statement, which 
could only land her in the sea of difficul- 
ties without any possible benefit, and here 
again the probabilities are entirely in her 
favor. It is beyond a doubt that Mr. May- 
brick was in the habit, or had at some time 
or other been in the habit, of drugging 
himself with all sorts of medicines, includ- 
ing arsenic, and assumably he had ob- 
tained relief from it, or he would not have 
continued the practise. 

Mr. Justice Stephen, in his summing-up, 



animadverted in very strong terms on the 
testimony of arsenic being used for cos- 
metic purposes, although expert chemists 
had certified to large use of arsenic for such 
a purpose. An immense degree of specu- 
lation must have entered the minds of the 
jury before they could find as they did, and 
bridge the gulf between the soaking of the 
fly-papers and the death of Mr. Maybrick, 
for it is quite evident that the soaking of 
the fly-papers was the one connection be- 
tween the arsenic and the prisoner upon 
which all the subsequent events turned; 
and, if that be so, the importance is seen at 
once of the statement she made regarding 
that incident, and conclusive evidence as to 
which was subsequently found in the provi- 
dentially recovered prescription. 

Absence of Concealment by Prisoner 

Another remarkable circumstance is the 
absence of any attempt at concealment on 
the prisoner's part. The fly-papers were 



©urchftsed Qpenly f rojn chemists who Ijipiew 
tl^ Maybricl^S weli, gpd thgy were left §o^}c- 
ing ip su^b 9' iflftnneF^s ^.J: pRce to vefwt^ any 
suggpstipn of secrecy ; an4 hpr vpIuRt^ry 
^ti*<:ement p.bout thg yfhit^ PPw4er which 
sb# elaped in the me^); juice, as tp which 
tKere W9S gb^qlutely no pyidencp to con- 
nect her with its preggrice there, seepis iR- 
GQRsistent with the thepry thie prp^ecHtipn 
attempted to build uppn ^ nifpfd^rq/ffs- 
Wnp^fion^s qf ^hieh the (fceurftfy w(fs ttgt 

The qiigstipj} of the prispnier's gv[ilt was 
pot capabk oi being reduped tp any is§He 
uppji whieh the prgsgcutipp could hrjag to 
bear dirept evidence ; the n>pst they were 
capable of doing w^s tp show th^t the pris- 
oner h^ oppoflrtunitm of administering 
poison, which she ^harf4 with ^ery indi- 
vidual in fh0, housf ; further, that she had 
arsenic in her possession (and this wj^s an 
Qiien sefr0t, as we have already e3j:p|9.ined 
with reference io the fly-pap§r§); and, 
lastly, that she had the ppssibility of ex- 
23 3S3 


tracting arsenic in sufficient quantities to 
cause death, which was, however, extreme- 
ly doubtful ; and then the prosecution tried 
to complete this indirect evidence by prov- 
ing that Mr. Maybrick died from arsenic 
poisoning, which they signally failed to do. 
The strong point of the prosecution, as 
they alleged, was that a bottle of Valen- 
tine's meat juice had been seen in her 
hands on the night of Thursday, the 9th of 
May, and she replaced it in the bedroom, 
where it was afterward found by Michael 
Maybrick, and analyzed by Mr. Davis, who 
found half a grain of " arsenic in solution " ; 
but there was no direct proof ^ such as is ab- 
solutely necessary to a conviction in a crimi- 
nal case, of tlie identity of the bottle seen in 
Mrs. Maybrick's hands and that given to 
the analyst, and there was evidence that it 
had remained in the bedroom within reach 
of anybody^ Mr. May brick himself included^ 
for eighteen hours, and did not until 
the next day reach the hands of the ana- 
lyst. These bottles are all alike in appear- 



ance, of similar turnip-like shape as the 
bovril bottles now sold, and it is clear there 
was more than one, because Dr. Hum- 
phreys says in his evidence that on visiting 
his patient on the 6th of May he found 
some of the Valentine's meat extract had 
made Mr. Maybrick sick, which he was not 
surprised at, as it often made people sick ; 
while Nurse Gore, speaking of the bottle 
seen in the hands of Mrs. Maybrick, said 
it was 2L/resh^ unused bottle ^ which she had 
herself opened only an hour before. 

No evidence was given of what became 
of the opened bottle, and the presence of 
the arsenic having already been accounted 
for, and the fact recorded . that the meat 
juice was not given to Mr. Maybrick, there 
is nothing to add to what has already been 
said, except that the account exactly dove- 
tails with the prisoner's own voluntary 

Can any one, closely following the evi- 
dence throughout, fail to be impressed with 
the inconsistency of Mrs. May brick's con- 



duct in notation to her husband's illness 
with a desire to murder him ? In all re- 
corded cases of poisoning, the utmost pre^ 
cautions to screen the victim from observa- 
tion have been observed. In the present 
instance it would seem as if just the reverse 
object had been aimed at. We find the 
prisdner^ry/ giving the alarm about the at^ 
tack of illness; first sending for the doc- 
tors, brothers, and friends; first suggest* 
ing that something taken by her husband, 
some drug or medicine, was at the bottom 
of the mischief. We find the very first 
thing she does is to administer a mustard 
emetic — the last thing one would have ex- 
pected if there had been a desire to poison 
him. If the prisoner had wished to put 
everybody in the house ^ and the doctors them^ 
selves^ on the scent of poison^ she could not 
have acted differently. 

[See also " Mrs. Maybrick's Own Analy* 
sis of the Meat-Juice Incident," page 366.] 



Some Important Deductions from 
Medical Testimojsty 

FROM Dr. Humphreys' testimony it 
appears that, after the days when he 
was away from the patient, and when Mrs. 
Maybrick had undisturbed accees to her 
husband, no symptoms whatever of arsenu 
cal Poisoning appeared. If, then, arsenic 
was administered by Mrs. Maybrick under 
the doctors' eyes, without their detecting 
it, what value can attach to the testimmiy 
of the medical attendants as to the cauge of 
4eath, apart from the post-mortem exami*- 
nation, by which thi^y practically admit they 
allowed their judgment to be governed ? 

Does not the only alternative present it- 
self that Drs. Humphreys and Carter are 
driven to the admission: "That the de- 
ceased died of arsenical poisoning we de- 
duce, not from the symptoms during lije, 
but from the fact that arsenic was found in 
the body after death " ? 



Symptoms Due to Poisonous Drugs 


From the medical testimony it appears 
that the following list of poisonous drugs 
was prescribed and administered to Mr, 
Maybrick shortly before his death : 

April 28, 1899^ diluted prussic acid; 
April 29, Papaine's iridin; May 3, morphia 
suppository; May 4, ipecacuanha; May 5, 
prussic acid; May 6, Fowler's solution of 
arsenic; May 7, jaborandi tincture and an- 
tipyrin; May io,sulfonal, cocain,and phos- 
phoric acid. ^ 

Also, during the same period, the fol- 
lowing were prescribed: bismuth, double 
doses ; nitro-glycerin ; cascara ; nitro-hydro- 
chloric acid (composed of nux vomica, 
strychnin, and brucine); Plummer's pills 
(containing antimony and calomel); bro- 
mide of potassium; tincture of hyoscya- 
mus ; tincture of henbane ; chlorin. 

Now it will be observed that up to May 
6, when Fowler's solution of arsenic was 
administered, no symptom whatever had 



been observed at all compatible with the 
effects of arsenic. 

The sickness produced by the morphia 
continued after the taking of arsenic, and 
down the unfortunate man's throat prussic 
acid, papaine, iridin, morphia, ipecacuanha, 
and arsenic, some of the most powerful 
drugs known to the pharmacopoeia, had 
found their way by the advice of Dr. Hum- 
phreys, in less than a week, while he was 
told to eat nothing, and allay his thirst with 
a damp cloth ; and the charge of poisoning 
is made against the prisoner because he is 
suggested to have had an irritant poison 
in his stomach, and minute traces of ar- 
senic in some other organs, within five 
days afterward. 

Death from Natural Causes 

The whole history of the case, from its 
medical aspect, is consistent with the small 
quantity of arsenic found in the body 
being part of that prescribed by Dr. Hum- 



phreys, or the t-efflaitt§ of that tafen by 
the deceased himself, ^Aere bHnj^ no pdf^ 
tick df ividefic^ to shdW that he di^cohiifiued 
the habit of d^uigiHg hifhself tilnib^i Up to 
the day of his diaik. Thig Is also ifl dccdfd 
with the evidence of Dr. Carter, wha at-' 
teilded at a later peHod, arid, takeii as; a 
whdle, the eViderice of both of theSe dOc^ 
tors, as well as their treatftifehf of the de- 
ceased, points to death ffdifi fidturUl cthise^. 

Prosecution's Deductions from Post- 
mortem Analysis Misleading 

The eVidehce df the pfoseetititrh ifl dori- 
nectiotl tvlth the ahalySiS was thofdughly 
unreliable and misleading. Df. SteVeti- 
son's difficulty was that, while two grains 
of arsenic was the smallest quantity capable 
of killing, the analyst had found only one- 
tehth di a gfam, of the twentieth part of 

the sniallest fatal dd§e, and, iti sttbstatide, 

Df. Stevenson pfodeeds tO argue a§ fdl- 

posT-mohtem analysis 

ia) I found 0.di5 grain of ai^ftie in 8 
ottndefe of ititestiiies* (Ther^ is tto fecord 
as to tfhfit pkvt ctf the intestines he ex^m^ 
itied.) I hdve weighed the itltestilfte*; df 
some othet pefsfott (hot Mt. Maybri(:k)i 
and find their entire Weight to be So ttiueh. 
If, then, 8 Ounces of Mr. Mftybrick'S intes^ 
tines yield 0.015 grairij the entire ifttestirfes 
(calculated from the weight of some one 
else's intestines), had 1 analyzed therttj 
Would have yielded otie^elevetlth of a graift* 

(d) Dr* Stevensoti thert proceeds to argue : 
" I found did36 grain of arsetiitl iii 4 ounces 

of liver. The entire litter weighed 48 

ounces, th&nfofe the entire tivef- c&niaiMd 

O.J 2 grain ofatsehitr 

(c) Dr. StevensOti afgUes further: "The 
intestines and liver, therefore, Uiay be taken 
to contain together four-tenths of a graitl Of 
arsenic, and, havitig found four^tenths of a 
grain, I assume that the body at the time of 
death probably contained a Jfatal dose oj ar- 


Such wfl& the deductioft Dr. SteveusOh 

36 1 


arrived at, necessitating the assumption that 
arsenic was equally distributed in the in- 
testines and liver ^ whereas it is within the 
personal knowledge of eminent men (such 
as Drs. Tidy and Macnamara) that arsenic 
may be found after death in one portion of 
the intestines^ and not a trace of it in a7ty 
other part. That in arsenical poisoning 
the arsenic may be found in the rectum 
and in the duodenum, and in no other 
part, is beyond dispute, and the fallacy of 
Dr. Stevenson^ s process must be self-evident. 

The witnesses for the prosecution them- 
selves supply the proof of the unequal dis- 
tribution of the arsenic in the liver. 

Mr. Davies calculates the quantity in the 
whole liver as 0.130 grain. 

Dr. Stevenson, in his first experiment, 
puts it at 0.312 grain, and in his second ex- 
periment at 0.278 grain; in other words. 
Dr. Stevenson finds double in one experi- 
ment and considerably more than double 
in another experiment^ the quantity found 
by Mr. Davies^ and it is upon this glaring 



miscalculation and discrepancy that the case 
for the Prosecution was made to rest, and 
Mrs. Maybrick was convicted. 

But with all this miscalculation the ap- 
proximate amount of arsenic can only be 
swelled up to four-tenths of a grain^ less 
than one fourth of a fatal dosCy and it was 
demonstrated that every other part of the 
body, urine, bile, stomach, contents of 
stomach, heart, lungs, spleen, fluid from 
mouth, and even bones, were all found to 
be free from arsenic. 

Recapitulation of Legal Points 

The legal points of the case may thus 
conveniently be recapitulated under the 
following short heads : 

There was no conclusive evidence that 
Mr. Maybrick died from other than natural 
causes (the word " conclusive *' being used 
in the sense oi free from doubt). 

There was no conclusive evidence that 
he died from arsenical poisoning. 



There was no evidence that the prisoner 
administered or attempted to administer 
arsenic to him. 

There was no evidence that the pris- 
oner, if she did administer or attempt to 
administer arsenic, did so with intent to 

The judge, while engaged in his sum^ 
ming-up, placed himself in a position where 
his mind was open to the influence ojF pub- 
lic discussion and prejudice, to which was 
probably attributable the evident change in 
his summing-up between the first and sec- 
ond days ; and he ako assumed facts against 
the prisoner which were not proved. 

The jury were allowed to separate and 
frequent places of public resort and enter- 
tainment during such summing-up. 

The verdict was against the weight of 

The jury did not give the prisoner the 
benefit of the doubt suggested by the dis- 
agreement of expert witnesses on a material 
issue in the case. 



The Home Secretary should have re- 
mitted the entire sentence by reason of his 
being satisfied that there existed a reason- 
able doubt of her guilty which, had it been 
taken into consideration at the time, would 
have entitled her to an acquittal. 

The indictment contained no specific 
account of felonious administration of poi- 
son, and consequently the jury found the 
prisoner guilty of an offense for which she 
was never tried. 



Of the Meat-juice Incident 

I SAID in my statement to the Court, regarding^ this 
meat juice, that : " On Thursday night, the 9th, after 
Nurse Gore had given my husband beef juice, I went and 
sat on the bed by the side of him. He complained to me 
of feeling very sick, very weak, and very depressed, and 
again implored me to give him a powder, which he had 
referred to early in the evening and which I had then de- 
clined to give him. I was overwrought, terribly anxious, 
miserably unhappy, and his evident distress utterly im- 
nerved me. He told me the powder would not harm 
him, and that I could put it in his food. I then con- 
sented. My lord, I had not one true or honest friend in 
the house. I had no one to consult and no one to advise 
me. I was deposed from my position as mistress in my 
own house and from the position of attending on my own 
husband, notwithstanding that he was so ill. Notwith- 
standing the evidence of nurses and servants, I may say 
that he wished to have me with him. [This desire was 
corroborated by the testimony of Nurse Gallery.] He 
missed me whenever I was not with him. Whenever I 
went out of the room he asked for me, and for four days 
before he died I was not allowed to give him even a piece 
of ice without its being taken from my hand. When I 
found the powder I took it into the inner room, and in 



pushing through the door I upset the bottle, and, in order 
to make up the quantity of fluid spilled, I added a con- 
siderable quantity of water. On returning to the room I 
found my husband asleep, and I placed the bottle on the 
table by the window. When he awoke he had a choking 
sensation in his throat and vomiting. After that he ap- 
peared a little better. As he did not ask for the powder 
again, and as I was not anxious to give it to him, I re- 
moved the bottle from the small table, where it would 
attract his attention, to the top of the washstand, where 
he could not see it. There I left it until I believe Mr. 
Michael Maybrick took possession of it. Until a few 
minutes before Mr. Bryning made the terrible charge 
against me, no one in that house had informed me of the 
fact that a death certificate had been refused, or that a 
post-mortem examination had taken place, or that there 
was any reason to suppose that my husband died from 
other than natural causes. It was only when Mrs. Briggs 
alluded to the presence of arsenic in the meat juice that I 
was made aware of the [supposed] nature of the powder 
my husband had asked me to give him. I then attempted 
to make an explanation to Mrs. Briggs, such as I am now 
making to your lordship, when a policeman interrupted 
the conversation and put a stop to it." 

Some time after my conviction there 
was found among my effects a prescrip- 
tion for a face wash containing arsenic 
(the existence of which Justice Stephen in 
his summing up flouted as an invention of 
mine to cover an intent to poison). This, 
together with the fact that on analysis no 



tFace of " fiber " was discovered iji the body 
or in apy of the things containing poisqn 
found in the house, 3hould rentoya the 
'^fly-paper incident*^ ffoni all sepous con- 
sideration in its bearing on the ewe (al- 
though it ^yas the source of all " suspicions " 

before death).. 

There remain only as "circumstantial 
gyicjenpe pf guilt" \yhat has CQm§ tQ bg 
known as the " motive,*' and the Valentine^s 
ni^^t-juicp ir)ici(}enf;. The " rnofiye," j>ow- 
ever regarded, was surely no incentive to 
injar4Pr» ^ jn^ipuch if | wanted to t>e ff^ 
there was sufficient evidence in my posses- 
sipn (jn the nature of infidelity an4 cnjejty) 
to secure a divorce, and it was with regard 
to steps in that direction that I had already 

taken that I made ponfession to my hus- 

bftncj ^ter ojjr reppijcjjiatjpn, snd to whic^ 
I referfed as tp the "wrong" I h{j4 done 
him> l^ecause of th§ publipity ^^4 f^l^ to 
his busip^s it iijvolyed. T^ "motive," 
which vvas ii>trp4jjced into the casq in tfifi 
form of § \§mr wntten hy me on tH§ 8th of 





Astor, Lenox and TMden^ 


May, in which I said that my husband was 
" sick unto death," was made much of by 
the prosecution, and it led Justice Stephen 
to say, in his summing-up, " that I could not 
have known that my husband was dying 
(except I knew something others did not 
suspect), inasmuch as the doctors, from the 
diagnosis, did not consider the case at all 
serious." The justice either did not or 
would not understand (though it was testi- 
fied to) that the phrase, " sick unto death," 
is an American colloquialism, especially of 
the South, and commonly employed with 
reference to any illness at all serious. 
Aside from the fact that all in attendance 
(save and except the doctors per their med- 
ical testimony) did regard it as serious — 
a witness for the prosecution, Mrs. Briggs, 
testified that she regarded him on that 
day as " dangerously ill," and Mr. Michael 
Maybrick said that when he saw his broth- 
er on the evening of the same day " he was 
shocked by his appearance" — I may say 
here that the phrase " sick unto death," in 
24 369 


connection with other causes for apprehen- 
sion, was prompted by the fact that my 
husband had told me that very morning 
that "he thought he was going to die"; 
and that this was his feeling is conclusively 
shown by the evidence of Dr. Humphreys 
at the inquest, when he testified that he 
had remarked to Mr. Michael Maybrick on 
this same Wednesday, the 8th of May : " I 
am not satisfied with your brother, and I 
will tell you why [not because the symp- 
toms seemed serious to him, it will be ob- 
served] • Your brother tells me he is going 
to diey 

That I regarded the case as really serious 
is surely further supported by the fact that, 
notwithstanding the easy-going attitude of 
Dr. Humphreys, I had persisted in urging 
a consultation, which accordingly took 
place on the 7th. As to what the attend- 
ing physicians knew or did not know about 
the medical aspects of the case, I confi- 
dently refer the reader to their own re- 
markable testimony. 



There then remains for serious consider- 
ation only what is known as the " Valen- 
tine meat-juice incident," Of this I know 
no more now than is included in my state- 
ment at the trial — namely, that at my hus- 
band's urgent, piteous request I placed a 
powder (which by his direction I took from 
a pocket in his vest, hanging in the adjoin- 
ing room, which room until his sickness 
had been his private bedroom, he having 
been removed to mine as being larger and 
more airy) in a bottle of meat juice, no part 
of the contents of which were given him, 
and hence at the very most there could 
only have legally arisen from this act a 
charge of " intent to poison." 

I do not assume that I can solve a prob- 
lem that has puzzled so many able minds, 
but I trust I shall make clear that the 
prosecution can not acquit itself of the 
inference of " cooking " up a case against 
me with reference to this meat-juice in- 
cident : 

I. At the inquest, only a few davs after 


J I 


the occurrence, Nurse Gore testified, "I 
could and did see clearly what Mrs. May- 
brick did with the bottle," though she 
failed to tell what she saw; and it is re- 
markable she was not further questioned 
on this point. At the magisterial inquiry 
and trial. Per contra, she testified that " she 
[I] pushed the door to conceal (note the 
animus) her [my] movements"; but on 
cross-examination she so far corrected her- 
self as to say : " Mrs. Maybrick did not shut 
the dressing-room door." 

2. When I returned with the bottle to 
the sick-room, she testified that I placed it 
on the table in a " surreptitious mannerl' 
though this action, according to her own 
testimony, happened while " she [I] raised 
her right hand and replaced the bottle on 
the table, while she [I] was talking to me 

If one wanted to do such an act " sur- 
reptitiously," would one choose the mo- 
ment of all others when by conversation 
one is calling attention to oneself? Do 



not the two things involve a direct contra- 
diction ? 

3. It is in evidence that an hour after I 
had placed the bottle on a little table in the 
window, I returned to the room and re- 
moved it from the table to the washstand 
(where it remained during most of the next 
day), lest the sight of it should renew 
Mr. Maybrick's desire for it, as he had 
just awakened. Note how this bottle is 
juggled with by the witnesses for the pros- 

Michael Maybrick, at the inquest, in an- 
swer to the question, " Where did you find 
the Valentine's meat juice?" replied: "I 
found it on a little table mixed up with sev- 
eral other bottlesl' Note the particularity 
of this bottle being mixed up with several 
other bottles. Obviously he at this time, 
only a few days after the event, had a clear 
picture of the situation in his mind. In 
corroboration of this testimony that the 
bottle he took was on the table and not on 
the washstand, there is the testimony of 



Nurse Gallery, who at the inquest stated: 
" My attention was called by her [Nurse 
Gore] to a bottle of Valentine's meat juice, 
which was on a table in Mr. Maybrick's 
room. I took a sample. I don't know 
what became of the bottle of meat juice. I 
saw Mr. Michael Maybrick in the room be- 
fore going off duty at 4.50 p.m. on Friday, 
but did not see him take the meat juice 

Nurse Gore gave her testimony at the 
inquest after the two others, and deposed 
that Mr. Michael Maybrick took the bottle 
from the washstand where I had placed it, 
thus contradicting Michael Maybrick, and 
in a way also Nurse Gallery, who testified 
that Nurse Gore called her attention to a 
bottle on the small table. Obviously this 
difference introduces two bottles ; but this 
would never answer the prosecution, and 
accordingly Mr. Michael Maybrick at the 
trial dropped the ta^le sworn to at the in- 
quest and fell in line with Nurse Gore in 
so far as to say : " It was standing on the 



waskstand, and it was among some other 
bottles^ Note that, while he substitutes the 
washstandiox the table ^h^ still clings to the 
bottles — a most important circumstance — as 
it was indubitably shown that there were 
on the washstand only the " ordinary basins 
and jugs " (water pitchers). Obviously Mr. 
Michael Maybrick had not fully compre- 
hended the purpose of the prosecution in 
" harmonizing " the testimony with that of 
Nurse Gore ; the " bottles " were too clearly 
in his mind to be dropped without a distinct 
efiFort, and he naturally introduced them 
again ; and, to fit in with the Nurse- Gore 
and the amended Mr. Michael Maybrick 
evidence, Nurse Gallery also changed front 
at the trial, and the table of her inquest tes- 
timony is also turned into a washstand. It 
is in evidence that as late as the 6th of May 
my husband took meat juice out of a bottle 
then in the room, the contents of which, 
however, did not agree with him, and upon 
the order of Dr. Humphreys its giving was 
discontinued, he adding that he was " not 



surprised," as it was known not to agree 
with some people. 

Although this was the doctor's order, 
Mr. Edwin Maybrick took it upon himself 
to procure a fresh bottle, and, distinctly 
against the same order, Nurse Gore set 
about to administer its contents. Subse- 
quently a bottle of meat juice, half full, was 
found in a small wooden box with other 
bottles (one of them containing arsenic in 
solution) in my husband's hat-box. 

Nevertheless, though we are here unde- 
niably dealing with three meat-juice bot- 
tles, only two were accounted for at the 
trial. What became of the third bottle? 
And which of the three ^2^ missing? Now, 
furthermore, it is in evidence that Nurse 
Gallery handled one of these bottles (be- 
tween the time that I placed one on the 
washstand and the time when Mr. Michael 
Maybrick, more than twelve hours later, 
took one either from the table or the washr 
stand for analysis), for she took a sample of 
it, which she afterward threw away, 



As all Valentine's meat -juice bottles 
look alike, Mr. Michael Maybrick showed 
sufficient caution to say he could not iden- 
tify the bottle shown him ; but Nurse Gore, 
to whom every act of mine, however inno- 
cent, was fraught with " surreptitiousness " 
and " suspicion," balked at no such scru- 
ples, but boldly testified that the bottle pro- 
duced in court was the identical one that 
Mr. Michael Maybrick "took from the 
washstand," even though at the inquest, 
when his memory was freshest, he testified 
that he took it from the table. 

It should be remembered that my state- 
ment to the court was to the effect that I 
put a powder (its nature unknown to me) 
in the meat-juice bottle I had in my hands. 
Yet no bottle containing a powder, or in 
which a powder had been dissolved, ap- 
peared in evidence. According to the 
analyst, the bottle submitted to him con- 
tained arsenic that had been put in in a 
state of solution. Now it resolves itself to 
this : either I uttered a falsehood about the 



powder and really introduced a solution, 
or another bottle was substituted for the 
one I had for two minutes in my pos- 

The contention of the prosecution was 
that I " invented " the powder, precisely as it 
was contended I " invented " the face-wash 
prescription which was found after the trial. 
If I "invented" the powder, how did I 
come by the solution ? If I had had arsenic 
in solution in my possession, would I have 
gone to the trouble of making a solution 
for a face wash by the clumsy method of 
soaking fly-papers ? Is not the proposition 
quite absurd on its face — that I should 
openly call attention to a method of arsenic 
extraction with the object of murder, when 
I already had the means at my command ? 

Finally, let it be borne in mind, as stated 
by Justice Stephen himself as a remarkable 
fact, that no arsenic was traced to my pro- 
curement or found in my personal belong- 
ings (save and except the innocuous fly- 
papers), and I may add that no arsenic was 



traced to any one connected with the case, 
except to my husband. 

I say it is absolutely clear that the bot- 
tle of Valentine's meat juice which Mr. 
Michael Maybrick took possession of and 
handed to Dr. Carter is not the same bottle 
which Nurse Gore saw me place on the 
washstand. There should be no flaw in 
the identity of the bottle which was handed 
to the analyst and the one which was in 
my hands, and I think the reader will say 
that it is impossible to conceive a greater 
flaw in any evidence of identity than shown 
by these witnesses of the prosecution at the 
inquest, when their minds were freshest as 
to their respective parts in this incident, 
and at the trial. 

Those of my readers who follow the 
analysis of the testimony as presented by 
Messrs. Lumley & Lumley can hardly have 
failed to be impressed by the fact that 
I was surrounded by unscrupulous ene- 
mies, by people who not only had extraor- 
dinary knowledge as to where to look for 



deposits of arsenic, but also remarkable in- 
tuitions that arsenic had been administered 
before any evidence of the presence of poi- 
son had been analytically proven. 

In the above I have not aimed to make 
an analysis of the testimony, such as, for 
example, on the evidence now available, 
Lord Russell could have made; I have 
simply endeavored to satisfy my readers 
that I have substantial grounds for assert- 
ing my innocence before the world. 

Florence Elizabeth Maybrick. 




From the Physicians of Liverpool 

IN a memorial for respite of sentence of 
Mrs. Maybrick, which was signed by 
leading medical practitioners of Liverpool, 
the petitioners say in part : 

" 3. It was admitted by the medical testi- 
mony on behalf of the prosecution that the 
symptoms during life and the post-mortem 
appearances were in themselves insuffi- 
cient to justify the conclusion that death 
was caused by arsenic, and that it was only 
the discovery of traces of that poison in 
certain parts of the viscera which eventu- 
ally led to that conclusion. 

" 4. The arsenic so found in the viscera 
was less in quantity than that found in any 
previous case of arsenical poisoning in 
which arsenic has been found at alL 



"S. There was indisputable evidence on 
the part of the defense that the deceased 
had been in the habit of taking arsenic, 
both medicinally and otherwise, for many 
years, and that the small quantity found in 
the viscera was inconsistent with the the- 
ory of a fatal dose at any time or times 
during the period covered by the illness of 
the deceased. 

"6. Lastly, your memorialists agree with 
the evidence given by Dr. Tidy, Dr. Mac- 
namara, and Mr. Paul on behalf of the 
defense, that the medical evidence on be- 
half of the prosecution had entirely failed 
to prove that the death was due to arsenical 
poisoning at all** 

From the Bars of Lfverpool and 


Leading members of the Bars of Liver- 
pool and London signed a memorial pray- 
ing a reprieve of Mrs. Maybrick's sentence 
" on the ground ... of the great conflict 
of medical testimony as to the cause of 
death " of Mr. Maybrick. 



From Citizens of Liverpool 

A petition for reprieve of Mrs. May- 
brick's sentence was signed by many and 
influential citizens of Liverpool. Among 
the reasons urged were : 

3. Lack of direct evidence of administra- 
tion of arsenic. 

4. The weak case against prisoner on 
general facts unduly prejudiced by evi- 
dence of motive. 

5. Preponderance of medical testimony 
that death was ascribable to natural causes. 

[I feel a deep respect for the noble avowal given in the 
petition of the medical practitioners of Liverpool, who 
must have felt the honor of their profession at stake, and 
that their individual dignity and humanity were concerned. 
The feeling among the Bar on receipt of the verdict was 
an almost universal, if not a quite unanimous, one of sur- 
prise. I have already mentioned (in Part One, the change 
of attitude of the citizens of Liverpool toward me, as the 
trial progressed, from hostility to belief in my innocence. 
— F. E. M.] 


Arsenic Sold to Maybrick by Druggist 

TON, a retired chemist (druggist), 
formerly carried on business at 14 Ex- 
change Street East, Liverpool, for seven- 
teen years; he retired from business in 
1888. He testified at the trial: 

" Mr. Maybrick called frequently at my. 
shop for about ten years or more, off and 
on. He used to get the tonic called ' pick- 
me-up.' He would come to the shop, get 
it, and drink it up. He gave me a pre- 
scription which altered it, which I put up 
with liquor arsenicalis. He brought the 
prescription for the first few times ; I used 
afterward to give it him at once, when he 
came into the shop and gave his order. I 
prepared the ' pick-me-up ' and added the 
stuff. At the beginning of giving it to 




him, a certain quantity of liquor arsenicalis 
was given, and as it continued it was grad- 
ually increased from first to last, so at the 
last it was 75 per cent, greater in quantity 
than it was originally. He used to get it 
from two to five times a day, and each con- 
taining 75 per cent, increase." 

This testimony of Mr. Heaton's was 
challenged by the prosecution, and con- 
siderably nullified by the fact that he did 
not know Mr. Maybrick, his customer, by 
name, but identified him by a photograph. 
To show how inexorably one fatality after 
another was woven into the web of my 
tragic case, it is in order to state that Mr. 
Heaton's connection with Mr. Maybrick 
could and would undoubtedly have been 
perfectly established but for what in the 
circumstances can be characterized only as 
a criminal blunder on the part of the police. 
In the printed police list of the score or 
more medicine bottles found locked in the 
private desk of Mr. Maybrick at his office 
was one entered as follows : " Spirit of sal- 
n 385 


volatile, Edwin G. Easton, Exchange Street 
East, Liverpool." This misprint of Easton 
for Heaton escaped the attention of every- 
body at the trial, and thus prevented the 
defense from identifying most circumstan- 
tially Mr. Maybrick with Mr. Heaton's cus- 
tomer who had the arsenic habit 

Arsenic Supplied to Maybrick by 
Manufacturing Chemist 

About ten years ago Mr. Valentine 
Charles Blake, of Victoria Embankment, 
son of a well-known baronet and Member 
of Parliament, made a voluntary statutory 
declaration [corroborated on oath in every 
possible essential by William Bryer Nation, 
of No. 7 Lion Street, a manufacturing 
chemist and patentee] , that Mr. Maybrick, 
about two months before his death, pro- 
cured through him (Mr. Blake), from Mr. 
Nation's supplies, as much as 150 grains of 
arsenic in various forms. Mr. Nation, as- 
sisted by Mr. Blake, had made certain 



chemical experiments in preparing ramie, 
the fiber of rhea grass, to serve as a substi- 
tute for cotton. Among other ingredients 
used was arsenic, some in pure form (white 
arsenic), some mixed with soot, and some 
mixed with charcoal. In January, 1889, 
the process was perfected, and some time 
during the same month Mr. Nation sent 
Mr. Blake to see Mr. Maybrick, to get his 
assistance in placing the product on the 
market. Mr. Maybrick was interested in 
the proposition and inquired closely into 
the nature of the process, what ingredients 
were used, etc. The deponent told him 
that, among other materials, arsenic was 

Then, to quote the exact words of the 
deposition, Mr. Blake went on to say: 

" 14. The said Mr. Maybrick shortly af- 
terward, during discussion at the same in- 
terview, asked me whether I had heard 
that many inhabitants of Styria, in Aus- 
tria, habitually took arsenic internally and 
throve upon it. I said that I had heard so. 


^ I 


He then spoke to me of De Quincey, the 
author of * Confessions of an Opium-Eater/ 
and asked me had I read the work. I said, 
'Yes/ and that I wondered De Quincey 
could have taken such a quantity as 900 
drops of laudanum in a day. The said 
James Maybrick said, * One man's poison 
is another man's meat, and there is a so- 
called poison which is like meat and liquor 
to me whenever I feel weak and depressed. 
It makes me stronger in mind and in body 
at once,' or words to that effect. I ven- 
tured to ask him what it was. He an- 
swered, ' I don't tell everybody, and 
wouldn't tell you, only you mentioned ar- 
senic. It is arsenic. I take it when I can 
get it, but the doctors won't put any into 
my medicine except now and then a trifle, 
that only tantalizes me,' or words to that 
effect. After a pause, during which I said 
nothing, the said James Maybrick said: 
* Since you use arsenic, can you let me have 
some ? I find a diflBculty in getting it here.' 
I answered that I had some by me, and 
that, since I had only used it for experi- 
ments which were now perfected, I had no 
further use for it, and he (Maybrick) was 



welcome to all I had left. He then asked 
me what it was worth, and offered to pay 
for it in advance. I replied that I had no 
license to sell drugs, and suggested that we 
should make it a quid pro quo. Mr. May- 
brick was to do his best with the ramie 
grass product, and I was to make him a 
present of the arsenic I had. 

" 15. It was finally agreed that when I 
came to Liverpool again, as arranged I 
should bring with me and hand him the ar- 
senic aforesaid. 

" 16. In Februetry, 188 g, I again called 
at the office of the said James Maybrick, in 
Liverpool, and, as promised, I handed him 
all the arsenic I had at my command, 
amounting to about 150 grains, some of 
the ' white ' and some of the two kinds of 
* black ' arsenic, in three separate paper 
packets. I told him to be careful, as he 
had * almost enough to poison a regiment.' 
When we separated the said James May- 
brick took away the said arsenic with him, 
saying he was going home to his house at 
Aigburth, to which he invited me. Hav- 
ing a train to catch, I declined the invita- 
tion, promising to accept it on my next 



visit to Liverpool, but before that occurred 
I read of his death. 

" 17. After the wife of the said James 
Maybrick had been accused of his alleged 
murder, I wrote to Mr. Cleaver, her then 
solicitor, of Liverpool, to the effect that I 
could give some evidence which might be 
of use to his client, and I posted such letter 
but received no reply. 

" 18. At this time I was intensely anx- 
ious as to the fate of my only son, Valen- 
tine Blake, who had in the previous year 
sailed on board the ship Melanasta from 
South Shields for Valparaiso, which ship 
was then very long overdue and unheard 
of. I eventually learned, as a result of a 
Board of Trade inquiry, that the said ship 
must have foundered with all hands, my 
only son included. At the time I wrote as 
aforesaid to Mr. Cleaver, my entire atten- 
tion was engrossed in endeavoring to get 
news as to the ship which never came home, 
and I felt little interest in any other sub- 
ject. Receiving no reply to my said letter 
to Mr. Cleaver, I took no further steps in 
the matter until, seeing recently in a newsr 
paper that Mr. Jonathan £. Harris, of 95 



Leadenhall Street, in the city of London, 
was now acting for Mrs. James Maybrick 
and her mother, the Baroness de Roques, I 
called at the offices of the said Mr. Harns 
and made to him a statement/' 

Depositions as to Mr. Maybrick's 

Arsenic Habit 

On August lo, Henry Bliss, former pro- 
prietor of Sefton Club and Chambers, 
Liverpool, made a sworn deposition, in 
which he said : 

" Mr. Maybrick lived in the chambers on 
and off several months, and was in the 
habit of dosing himself. On one occasion 
he asked me to leave a prescription at a 
well-known Liverpool chemist's to be made 
up by the time he left 'Change. The 
chemist remarked : * He ought to be very 
careful and not take an overdose of it.' 

On March 31, 1891, Franklin George 
Bancroft, artist and writer, of Columbia, 



S. C„ made a sworn deposition, in which 

he said : 

" I. Between the years 1874 and 1876 I 
was personally acquainted with James 
Maybrick, late of Battlecrease House, Aig- 
burth, near Liverpool, merchant, deceased, 
who was then living in Norfolk, Va, I was 

frequently in his company^ and from time 
to time I have seen hint take from his vest 
pQck^t a case resembling a cigarette case, 
which contg^ined a packet q/ white powders, 
and place the contents of one such powder 
on several occasions into the glass of wine 
(usually Chablis, claret, or champagne) he 
was at the time drinking, and swallow the 

** 2. Seeing him take this powder, I did, 
on one occasion, ask him what it was, and 
the said James Maybrick replied, ' Longev- 
ity and fair complexion, my boy f ' and he 
subsequently informed me that the said 
white powders were composed of arsenic 
among other ingredients/* 



Justice Stephen's Retirement 

There are also facts in relation to the 
judge who tried the case which, had they 
been anticipated at the time of the trial, 
could not have failed to have had some 
weight, directly or indirectly, on the minds 
of the jury ; that is to say, his retirement 
from the Bench not long afterward, in 
April, 1 89 1, when, to quote his own words 
in addressing the Bar, of whom he was tak- 
ing leave, " he had been made acquainted 
with the fact that he was regarded by some 
as no longer physically capable of discharg- 
ing his duties " ; and it will be no matter of 
surprise, to those who have read critically 
the summing-up of Mr. Justice Stephen on 
this trial, to notice the entire change from 
a favorable bias between his address to the 
jury on the first days of the trial to the vio- 
lent hostility shown at its conclusion. 

This change of front can be in a manner 
accounted for» as it had been suggested to 
the prisoner's friends, by a conversation on 



the case between Mr. Justice Stephen and 
another member of the Bench, Mr. Justice 
Grantham, at a social meeting of an en- 
tirely private character. 

A mental malady was developed in the 
judge so soon after the trial that it was 
properly said to have been caused by his 
brooding over it^ and this condition in- 
creased so rapidly and markedly that his 
resignation was demanded. It is but rea- 
sonable to suppose that the judge's mental 
incapacity reached farther back than its 
discovery, and that the illogical and unjust 
summing-up was connected with the men- 
tal overthrow of the otherwise able judge. 
And it may be here added that Justice Ste- 
phen himself, in the second edition of the 
"General Views of the Criminal Law of 
England, 1890," says, at page 173, that out 
of 979 cases tried before him, from Janu- 
ary, 1885, to September, 1889, "the case of 
Mrs. Maybrick was the only case in which 
there could be any doubt about thefacts,">/ 







This book is under no etroomatnnooa to bo 
taken from tbo BaildJnj 

fvrm «• 





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